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Highest level of restrictions should be introduced in Republic of Ireland for six weeks, public health group recommends


Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health (Brian Lawless/PA)


Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health (Brian Lawless/PA)

Level five restrictions should be introduced for the entire Republic of Ireland for six weeks, the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has recommended .

The public health group led by Chief Medical Officer has called for the highest level of Covid-19 restriction as fears grow about the spread of the virus.

Level five restrictions would see people banned from traveling further than 5km from their home, no public gatherings other than small funerals or weddings would be permitted and pubs and restaurants would only be allowed to provide delivery or takeaway service.

The recommendation comes less than two weeks after Nphet controversially recommended level five restrictions. However, Mr Holohan’s advice was rejected by the Government on that occasion as they did not believe the country was prepared for a second lockdown.

Nphet met yesterday to discuss the escalating situation with the virus after the Government banned gatherings in homes and introduced level four restrictions in Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.

The new level five recommendation will be examined by senior civil servants this morning before the Government decides on what action to take.

A senior government source said they were not surprised by the recommendation given the high number of new cases but insisted the Cabinet will decide on what action to take. There is no scheduled Cabinet meeting today and Taoiseach Micheál Martin is in Brussels at an EU Summit.

On Thursday, Nphet reported 1,205 new Covid-19 cases and three new deaths.

This included 288 new cases in Dublin, 173 Cork, 123 in Meath, 97 in Galway and 63 in Cavan.

Mr Holohan said: “There has been further increases across all key indicators of COVID-19 and the growth rate of the epidemic has accelerated since Nphet last met.”

“Cases notified over the past week have increased by 82% compared with the previous 7 days, from 3,514 to 6,382 cases. The positivity rate over the past 7 days is now 6.2% and is continuing to increase,” he added.

The CMO said the 14-day incidence rate among people aged over 65 has increased from 92.9 per 100,000 population on 7th October to 125 per 100,000 population on the 14th of October.

“The number of hospitalisations are increasing faster than the exponential growth modelling predicted. This indicates a rapidly deteriorating disease trajectory nationally,” he added.

Belfast Telegraph