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Dr. Ronan Glynn releases video to 'clarify' confusion into 'simple message'

In his message, Glynn acknowledged that yesterday’s measures may seem “unfair” for a “nation which loves sport”.

Source: Department of Health/YouTube

DR. RONAN GLYNN has acknowledged that there has been some confusion over the public health measures announced yesterday and has sought to deliver a “very simple message” for people to follow over the next three weeks.  

The acting Chief Medical Officer was speaking in a five-minute video shared by the Department of Health and said the reason for the new measures was that the growth rate of Covid-19 in Ireland was now the “third highest” in the EU. 

Glynn said that clusters of the virus have been recorded in a range of settings, including 75 in family settings. 

“Workplace outbreaks have been well documented and the large ones that you know about account for about 360 of the cases reported in recent weeks. Another 40 cases have been linked to the construction sector recently. And as you may be aware, we also had six clusters linked to Direct Provision in recent weeks, with about 90 cases linked to these,” he said. 

However, these outbreaks are just part of the story. For example, while they account for approximately 500 cases between them, we’ve had over 1200 cases reported in the last 14 days alone.

So where are the rest of these cases coming from? Well, last week, we had approximately 75 clusters in families or extended families. Now this is an entirely normal product having to deal with a virus which is as infectious as Covid is, but it does highlight the fact that the virus is still out there in our communities.

“About 3%, or 36 cases, over the past 14 days have been travel related. Over 200 have been confirmed as community transmission, which is that we don’t know where they came from and a further 200 remain under investigation.

We’ve all seen cases in clusters linked to sporting activities. But of more concern to our public health doctors on the ground, have been the number of contacts that have had to be followed up as a consequence of intermingling of different titles as a result of socialisation around sporting activity, house parties, other social engagements and car sharing. 

Glynn added that as a result of this recent spike in cases, which have averaged 96 new cases a day over the last five days, yesterday’s measures were announced. 

The measures included restrictions on the number of visitors to people’s homes and also required that sporting events are to be held behind closed doors

Similar new restrictions do not apply to arts events such as cinemas and theatres, which can continue to operate under limits of 50 people indoors and 200 people outdoors.

In his message, Glynn acknowledged that yesterday’s measures may seem “unfair” for a “nation which loves sport”. 

“You can still play sport, you can still go to a restaurant and meet your friends and family. But we are asking that you do this in a safe way as possible,” he said.

“Now, I know that there has been a lot of talk and commentary about the measures that were recommended, and many people are confused about what they should be doing,” he added. 

But at the heart of what we want to do is a very simple message, please limit the number of people that you’re meeting up with over the next three weeks. Specifically, please focus on two key numbers, 6, and 15.

“Please do not have more than six people over to your house or garden and outside, no more than 15 people should meet up. And even then, people need to physically distance from one another. Please work from home if at all possible.”

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Rónán Duffy

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