Coronavirus: Community transmission picking up pace as only eight counties see no increase in cases

Priority must be to control the spread of the virus in communities - NPHET

 Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer. File photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer. File photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

 

Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn has acknowledged the “disappointment” caused by the decision not to proceed to phase four of the Government’s road-map to lifting Covid-19 restrictions.

However, Dr Glynn insisted the priority of public officials must be to control the spread of the virus in communities “and to protect the progress that we have achieved to date”.

A further 50 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported on Tuesday by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

This brings to the 26,303 the total number of confirmed cases in the State.

For the 10th day in a row, no new deaths were reported by NPHET, leaving the overall death toll during the pandemic at 1,763.

In line with the trend seen in recent weeks, most of Tuesday’s cases were among younger people and men, and most were related to previously confirmed cases.

Of the new cases, 42 were associated with outbreaks or were close contacts of a confirmed case. However, four new cases involved community transmission, meaning the source of the infection was unclear.

Some 81 per cent of the new cases were aged under 45 years. There were 31 cases among men and 19 among women.

Co Wexford recorded the highest number of new cases, with 11. There were also 10 new cases in Kildare, six in Dublin, five in Donegal and 18 spread across nine other counties (Carlow, Cork, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Sligo, Tipperary and Wicklow).

“Covid-19 is an extremely contagious virus and we have seen a significant increase in its spread across multiple counties over recent days. We are monitoring this very closely,” Dr Glynn said.

“Our focus over the coming weeks will be on continuing every effort to slow the spread of the virus so that our schools can reopen, our healthcare services resume, and our nursing homes are protected.”

No increase in eight counties

Meanwhile, only eight counties recorded no increase in Covid-19 cases over the past week, according to HSE figures.

There was no change in the number of Covid-19 cases in the week up to last Sunday in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Longford, Roscommon, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow, data from the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows.

The biggest increase in cases were recorded in Cos Dublin and Kildare, each with an additional 46 cases. A further 31 cases occurred in county Laois, and 11 more in Co Limerick.

Public health officials have indicated that many of the new cases relate to outbreaks in food processing plants, or among at-risk groups.

Over the past week, travel accounted for an additional 14 cases, the HPSC epidemiological reports indicate.

Community transmission - where the cause of an infection is not apparent - was involved in an additional 59 cases, with the rate of occurrence of community transmission picking up pace during the week. Overall, the was an increase of 319 cases during the week.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland on Wednesday, it emerged more than 6,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus.

The latest figures published by the North’s Department of Health revealed 10 more cases of Covid-19 bring the total to 6,006.However no new fatalities have been recorded in Northern Ireland for almost three weeks, leaving the total death toll at 556 — according to the departmental figures which are based on those who previously tested positive for the virus.