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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 3 December 2020

Harris says there is 'a slight potential increase' in the Covid-19 reproductive rate

Harris said the country is still effectively suppressing the growth of the virus.

THERE HAS BEEN a “a slight potential increase” in the Covid-19 reproductive rate, according to the Health Minister Simon Harris.

The reproductive rate of the virus refers to how many other people a confirmed case goes on to infect.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Harris said the rate is now calculated as between 0.4 and 0.7.

Last week, the reproduction number was between 0.4 and 0.5. The week previous, it was between 0.4- 0.6. 

The minister encouraged people to continue to adhere to the 2 metre rule.

“And it is two metres,” he said, dashing any speculation that it will be reduced to one metre in the coming days.

“So to be clear, as we may have seen a slight increase in the number, it still remains below one. And that means we are collectively as country, effectively suppressing the growth of this virus,” said Harris.

contacts Covid-19 reproductive rate graph Source: HSE

He said there are other measures that are considered when decisions are made about easing restrictions, such as the number of people in intensive care, which stands at 37.

There are 166 people in hospital as of yesterday, said the minister.

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“We have made progress. We have saved lives,” said Harris, adding that now is not the time to be complacent. 

The reopening of Irish society and the economy “is not always inevitable”, said Harris.

“It is dependent and would remain dependent on the threat of the disease,” he added.

“If we continue, day in and day out to practice what we know works, wash our hands…  respect the two metre rule… we will make progress,” he said.

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