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CMO says Dublin won't be singled out for stricter measures with growth rates similar nationwide

Dublin has the highest number of confirmed cases at 3,061.

CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER Dr Tony Holohan has said he does not believe there is a justification for focusing stricter containment measures on Dublin, despite the fact that more than half of all cases in the country are in the capital.

According to data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), Dublin has the highest number of confirmed cases at 3,061 – that’s 55% of all cases – followed by Cork with 421 cases (7%).

The incidence rate in Dublin is 199.8 per 100,000, which compares to rates in counties like Galway of 43.4 per 100,000 or Laois of 29.5 per 100,000.

This evening, the CMO said that while Dublin may have a much higher number of confirmed cases, the growth rates nationwide are similar.

“The disease is growing at roughly similar rates, albeit at a different proportion,” he explained.

“This is an epidemic that we’ve seen in this country where the majority in terms of cases – and we see that in terms of the total number of cases, we see it in terms of clusters of infection in particular locations, we see it in terms of ICU admissions – is centred on Dublin.

“That’s not a pattern that’s out of kilter with other large cities in other parts of Europe, but we think the disease is growing at roughly similar rates in all parts of the country so we don’t think there would be justification in selectively focusing on Dublin.”

Dr Holohan said the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), which met today, believes the measures in place “are the right measures for the whole country all at the same time”.

He also said he does not expect that the team will recommend lifting any of these measures at the end of this week. 

This evening he confirmed a further 36 deaths and 345 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of cases in Ireland to 5,700. In total 210 patients with Covid-19 have died.

Dr Holohan warned against complacency and while he said he can understand the measures are difficult for people with the Easter holidays approaching – as well as the good weather – he urged people to “stay the course with us”. 

NPHET expressed has expressed concern that some people may seek to travel to holiday destinations, holiday homes and mobile homes across the country this weekend, despite restrictions. 

The team said that while the current restrictions have reduced the number of people becoming infected by a confirmed case, this depends on people staying at home and following other public health advice.

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“There have been unprecedented sacrifices made across society in recent weeks to protect all people in this island from Covid-19. We urge the public , on this Easter holiday with sunshine and isolation fatigue, to stay the course and comply with the recommendations and measures in place. 

“Stay at home and keep Ireland safe. Covid-19 is in our households, not only our nursing homes. It is in our community. Do the right thing. Spread the message, not the virus.”

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