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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

NPHET to meet to consider further restrictions as Ministers urge caution

Public Health Officials last night confirmed 234 new cases – including 103 in Dublin – and two further deaths.

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NPHET WILL MEET later today to consider additional Covid-19 restrictions but could wait to recommend further actions to Government until next week. 

Public Health Officials last night confirmed 234 new cases – including 103 in Dublin – and two further deaths. There are currently 90 hospitalised Covid-19 cases, including 16 admitted to ICU. 

There is speculation that other counties could be move up a level, including further restrictions in Dublin. 

Speaking at last night’s NPHET Briefing, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned that cases were rising across the country and urged people to reduce their contacts. 

“This week unfortunately we are seeing a rise in all metrics of diseases,” said Professor Nolan. 

Nolan, however, said Ireland’s five-day incidence rate is not rising as fast as expected but said “there is absolutely no room for imagining that we are seeing a stabilisation yet.”

Any advice from NPHET will go to the new Covid-19 Oversight Group later today. The group will then consider NPHET’s advice followed by a meeting of the Cabinet Sub-Committee.

Cabinet is then due to meet on Tuesday, but could meet earlier dependent on how serious NPHET’s recommendations are. 

Minister are concerned about further restrictions in Dublin – which has been on Level 3 since last Friday – and have said that the issue of pubs reopening will have to be addressed if Dublin moves to Level 4. 

One Minister told TheJournal.ie that Government must be cautious implementing future restrictions in other counties.

Screenshot 2020-09-23 at 15.36.19 - Display 2 Source: Department of Health

Speaking last night, Dr Glynn raised particular concern after a rise in cases in Donegal, Louth and Waterford. 

He said: “The single most important thing that people all across the country need to do now is to reduce their social contacts.

We all need to cut down on discretionary social activities. Meeting fewer people means fewer opportunities for the virus to transmit. Please prioritise who you choose to meet and try to keep your social network as small as possible.

Meanwhile, over half of people in Ireland surveyed by the Department of Health are in favour of further Covid-19 restrictions.

The research cited by the Department was carried out on Monday by Amarach Research and surveyed 1,650 people over 18. 

According to the Department, 52% said they were in favour of more restrictions with 29% saying they were not. 

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Screenshot 2020-09-23 at 15.31.53 - Display 2 Source: Department of Health

Asked about the Government’s response to the current Covid-19 outbreak, 54% of people surveyed said it was appropriate while 39% said it was insufficient – 7% of people said it was too extreme. 

According to the research, 47% of people said they believed the worst of the pandemic is still ahead, 22% said it happening now and 17% said has passed. 

On face mask wearing, 95% of people said they wear a face covering every time they enter a shop while 97% said they were a facemask every time they take public transport. 

Meanwhile, 45% of people said “most people” are following public health guidelines while 35% of people surveyed on Monday said they were experiencing anxiety with 20% saying they were bored. 

With reporting by Christina Finn 

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