Coronavirus: Four new cases but no deaths reported for second day in a row

A total of 20 counties reported new cases over the past 14 days

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health urged people not to risk going into environments that feel unsafe.  Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health urged people not to risk going into environments that feel unsafe. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

 

Ireland is in an “almost uniquely good” position in relation to Covid-19 but could end up “back where we were months ago” if we make the wrong choices, public health officials have warned.

In contrast, if we make the right choices, we can hope to keep the disease under control, acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said.

Dr Glynn said he was very concerned about the scenes of crowded outdoor drinking seen outside some Dublin pubs over the weekend.

“We’ve come through a very difficult phase for the country, when the vast majority followed public health advice while punitive measures were put in place.

“What we’re asking people to do now is straightforward, and that is to follow public health advice, physically distance and not go into environments putting themselves at risk.”

He said he was asking the public to do this for healthcare workers “who have just come through this but are exhausted and not ready for another wave”, for children who want to go to school in the autumn and for the sick and vulnerable who are most at risk.

No new deaths of people diagnosed with Covid-19 were reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team for the second day in a row. This leaves at 1,741 the total number of deaths from the disease in the Republic.

Nphet also reported another four new confirmed cases of the virus at its briefing on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 25,531.

Commenting on the latest figures, Dr Glynn said “at present things are very good” but officials would be scrutinising not just the daily case numbers, along with figures for hospitalisations and ICU admissions, but the speed with which they are changing.

He again urged people to avoid non-essential foreign travel for now and to consider staying at home, “where we have a full understanding of the disease”, this summer.

The 14-day incidence of the disease in Ireland now stands at 2.96 cases per 100,000 of population, he said.

Of the 141 cases that have occurred in the past 14 days, the median age was 37 years, much lower than the overall figure for all cases, according to Dr Glynn. Men accounted for 45 per cent of cases and women for 55 per cent.

Two-thirds of cases were aged under 45, and 41 per cent had underlying conditions. Some 41 per cent of cases involved healthcare workers.

Twenty counties recorded new cases. Dublin recorded 58 additional cases, or 41 per cent and Kildare 24.

Sligo recorded 18 cases, most of them linked to a travel-related cluster.

A further 21 cases occurred in three other counties.

Over the week to Saturday, no new cases were recorded among vulnerable groups or in meat or poultry plants, Dr Glynn said.

Dr Glynn urged people not to risk going into environments that feel unsafe.

He also urged people identified as contacts of confirmed cases to take up the offer of their own test, after new figures show that 35 per cent of those identified as contacts between mid-May and the end of June did not do so.

Meanwhile, research conducted for the Department of Health shows people think there will be a second wave, up 20 per cent in the past month.

Some 41 per cent of people believe the worst of the pandemic is over while 32 per cent believe it is yet to come.

Asked about charges imposed by some private hospitals for Covid-19 tests, Dr Glynn said it was not acceptable that anyone should be precluded from important treatment because they can’t afford a test.

Meanwhile, research conducted for the Department of Health found 74 per cent of people think that there will be a second wave - up 20 per cent in the past month.

Some 41 per cent of people believe the worst of the pandemic is over while 32 per cent believe it is yet to come.

Asked about charges imposed by some private hospitals for Covid-19 tests, Dr Glynn said it was not acceptable that anyone should be precluded from important treatment because they can’t afford a test.

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