Coronavirus: 518 more cases as Holohan warns of ‘significant’ reverse

‘It is vital we do everything in our power now to arrest the current trajectory,’ says CMO

 Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health Dr Tony Holohan who met coalition party leaders and medical officers at Government buildings, Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health Dr Tony Holohan who met coalition party leaders and medical officers at Government buildings, Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

A further 518 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on Monday evening.

This brings to 38,549 the total number of cases of the disease in the Republic.

No further deaths were reported by NPHET, leaving the total number of deaths at 1,810.

Of Monday’s cases, 134 are in Dublin, 53 in Cork and 49 in Limerick. There were also 34 cases in Donegal, 32 in Meath with the remaining 216 cases spread across 20 counties.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said there had been a “significant and concerning” deterioration in the epidemiological situation nationally in recent days.

“It is vital that we do everything in our power now to arrest the current trajectory nationally and very substantially suppress the virus back down to a low level of transmission in advance of the winter months.”

The figures come ahead of a planned announcement by Cabinet of further controls on economic and social activity to reduce the spread of the disease.

The Government has rejected a recommendation from NPHET to move the country to Level 5 status. However, it is expected the Cabinet will agree to place the State under Level 3 with added measures.

A Cabinet meeting is taking place this evening to sign off on the new measures.

At present Dublin and Donegal are on Level 3 restrictions, with additional measures restricting pubs and restaurants to outdoor seating only in the capital. The rest of the country is on Level 2.

Appealing to members of the public, Dr Holohan said: “Do not become distracted from the core public health messages; wash hands regularly, keep your distance, wear face coverings where appropriate, avoid crowded environments, cut your social contacts down to minimum levels, know the symptoms and isolate yourself and contact your GP immediately if you experience them.”

Core priorities had to be protected, deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said.

“We must work together to keep our non-Covid health services open, keep our children in education and protect the lives of the most vulnerable to this disease. 

 “Solidarity is now more important than ever as we work to once again suppress this virus in our communities.”

In Northern Ireland, 616 new cases of Covid-19 were reported on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the North to 14,690. There were no additional deaths, leaving the death toll at 584.

The North’s First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill were due to discuss the sharp rise in coronavirus cases with the Taoiseach and British prime minister on Monday, according to senior Stormont sources.

Amid calls for a British-Irish concerted approach to tackling Covid-19 the escalation of restrictions in the Republic, DUP and Sinn Féin leaders were planning to hold telephone conversations with Micheál Martin and Boris Johnson about the pandemic.

Northern Executive Ministers in their meeting on Monday did not take any decisions to introduce new measures to combat the virus. Last week it moved to bring in more restrictions in the Strabane and Derry Council area which came into effect on Monday.

The Executive however did discuss proposals to introduce a “circuit breaker” in Northern Ireland – an effective two- or three-week lockdown to try to curb the increase in Covid-19 cases. No decision was taken on the matter however.