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Coronavirus Ireland: 'Difficult phase' - 142 new cases, no new deaths as Nphet wants to avoid national lockdown

There have been 142 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 today, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

t said there have been no new deaths linked to the virus, six months to the day since Ireland’s first case of Covid-19.

Acting chief medical officer Ronan Glynn said the country will have to show further resilience to overcome the virus.

“Today marks six months since our first case of Covid-19. It has been a very difficult time for many and few have been left untouched in some way by the negative effects of this pandemic,” he said.

“However, it has also been a time of incredible solidarity, a time when a sense of community has come to the fore. We have seen innovation, cooperation, volunteerism and charity, and kindness on an enormous scale. Our frontline workers have stepped up again and again. But underpinning it all has been each person playing their part by making the right choices, many times, each day. Together, we have broken the chains of transmission and flattened the curve. As cases rise again, it is these same behaviours that will once again make the difference, protecting ourselves, our families and our communities.”

The new cases mean Ireland has had 28,720 confirmed cases of Covid-19 during the pandemic and 1,777 deaths.

Of the new cases, 59 were confirmed in Dublin. Another 20 of the positive cases were detected in Kildare, which remains in lockdown.

Earlier today, Dr Cillian de Gascun, Chairperson of the Expert Advisory Group on Covid-19, told RTE’s Brendan O’Connor show that the team wants to avoid another national lockdown.

“So we have to be very careful about that,” he said. “We don’t want to go back into a national lockdown if we don’t have to.

However, he noted that strict ‘stay at home’ guidelines worked.

“But I think the key thing to remember about the stay-at-home restrictions is that they did work. That’s why it is there, it’s a tool in the armoury that you never exclude definitively,” he said.

Dr de Gascun said that nothing is zero risk but social activities have be done “differently now”

“Although we’re reopening society and getting back to the activities that we used to do, we have to do them in a different way.

“There’s nothing that is zero-risk unfortunately so we want people to get to school and have dinner with friends and have friends over to their house, but the thing is when they do those things we have to do them differently now.

“It’s really like a change in behaviour. An analogy we might use is the way we changed from plastic bags to bags for life. This is a change that has to stay with us,” he added.

Marking six months since the first Covid-19 case was detected, the head of the HSE said that Ireland has reached a “more difficult phase” of the pandemic.

There have been a total of 1,777 people who died with Covid-19 in Ireland, many of them elderly people living in nursing homes.

As the virus gripped the country earlier this year, care homes bore the brunt of its force with hundreds of lives lost.

Figures provided by the Department of Health show that Ireland recorded its highest death toll on April 20 when 77 people died from the virus.

After health officials confirmed the first case on February 29, there have since been 28,578 people diagnosed with Covid-19.

Ireland hit its highest number of cases in one day when 936 were recorded on April 23.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said it has been a “a long six months” since the first Covid-19 case confirmed in the State.

“Much learning, hurt, sorrow, grieving and frustration.

“But there’s also been inspirational responses from the public and healthcare workers,” he tweeted.

“A more difficult phase now but the same virus.”

As society eased out of lockdown restrictions, cases have been steadily rising since mid-July prompting acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn to issue warnings about the spike, particularly among young people.

While alarm bells were sounded over the jump in cases, there has been a fall-off in the number of people admitted to hospital and the number of deaths.

There are currently five people in Intensive Care Units and 30 people in hospital with the disease.

PA Media

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