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'In two days Ireland has moved from relatively stable to dealing with significant outbreaks' – Health chiefs announce 85 new cases of Covid 19



We are at a significant point in our fight against coronavirus, health chiefs have warned after another person has died and 85 new cases were confirmed.

he daily toll is the worst since some of the worst days in early summer and they are linked to a number of clusters.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said that over two days, Ireland moved from a relatively stable point to a “significant” pattern due to outbreaks.

“Over a two-day period Ireland moved from a relatively stable epidemiology to a significant pattern connected to outbreaks,” he said.

“We now need to be really careful and adhere to public health advice so we do not further spread the virus. We must remain vigilant to the disease if we are to control it at this point.”

The total number of cases in Ireland is now 26,027 and there have been 1,763 deaths.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 53 cases are men and 32 are women
  • 68pc are under 45 years of age
  • 26 cases are located in Kildare, 18 in Dublin, 11 in Clare, 9 in Laois, 7 in Limerick, 4 in Meath and the remainder are spread across 7 other counties.
  • 39pc of today’s cases are associated with close contacts of a confirmed case
  • Half are associated with outbreaks

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, pleaded with people to “act in the context of the global pandemic” ahead of this August Bank Holiday weekend at a press briefing this evening.

A number of staff working in a dog food factory in Kildare factory at the centre of one of the outbreaks are living in direct provision centres.

He said the only reassuring point is that the cases can be accounted for.

“It may be a blip or a sign of something more significant,” he said.

It is important that people remember the basic messages.

None of us are immune from this, he warned.

Public health teams are working on investigating the Kildare cluster.

He said he was urging people to follow the rules on physical distancing, hand washing and wearing of face masks.

“Now is not the time for a knee jerk reaction, we know where the majority of these cases have come from.

“The question now is – what happens next?

“One of the things that concerns us is that people have forgotten the basic message around distancing. We need to physically distance, the one to two metres is vital in the context of this disease. The disease is still out there,” he added.

Dr Glynn said the next few days will be crucial.

A key worry is whether the cases will seep into the community.

Asked about the reopening of over 3,000 pubs which only sell alcohol he said he acknowledged the impact of the pandemic on workers and businesses.

He said however the reopening of schools and the risk of residential centres had to be part of the wider considerations.

He said it is too early to say what will happen in relation to phase 4 of the exit from lockdown roadmap

Dr Glynn said everyone needs to double down at this point.

The 85 cases only came through today.

Given the systems in place and what we have learned now is not the time for a knee jerk reaction, he added.

“We need to take a moment and see what comes through on Friday and Saturday and make recommendations if needed.”

Some 264 cases have arisen in the last fourteen days, higher than the number in the previous fourteen days.

“We need to understand the details between the cases. We need to understand the links between the clusters.”

Until yesterday all the main indicators of virus spread were going down.

The numbers of new cases have gone up in one day.

Asked how he would categorise his concern now Dr Glynn said: ”We are very concerned.”

Key to understanding the clusters is whether they are contained or whether they have spread into the community.

He said he hoped the daily number of new cases would be back below forty tomorrow.

Up to yesterday there were around 20 cases a day.

“In order to maintain health services in areas outside of COVID-19, suppression of the disease in the community is paramount. By protecting yourself from the disease you are contributing to a patient’s ability to access other services,” said Dr Siobhan Ni Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist and Integrated Care Lead at the HSE.

“Protect our health service by following public health advice and stay safe from COVID-19,” she added.

Online Editors

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