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People will have to limit contact for a long time into the future – expert

There have been 24,841 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland since the outbreak began.

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Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, speaking during a COVID-19 update briefing at the Department of Health, in Dublin.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, speaking during a COVID-19 update briefing at the Department of Health, in Dublin.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, speaking during a COVID-19 update briefing at the Department of Health, in Dublin.

People will have to limit their contacts with other people for a long time into the future despite the pandemic easing, a health expert has said.

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said all the main indicators of the virus’s prevalence were either “stable or declining”.

The coronavirus death toll in Ireland rose to 1,639 on Thursday after a further nine deaths were announced.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

There were 46 new confirmed cases of the disease in Ireland also announced on Thursday, taking the total to 24,841 since the outbreak began.

Speaking to RTE Morning Ireland, Prof Nolan said even as the number of cases declines, people will still need to limit their contacts with other people.

He said: “For a long time into the future, we are going to have to limit our social and physical contacts to what is necessary for our well-being and what is necessary for the economy.

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Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, and Professor Philip Nolan speak during a virus update briefing (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, and Professor Philip Nolan speak during a virus update briefing (Brian Lawless/PA)

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Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, and Professor Philip Nolan speak during a virus update briefing (Brian Lawless/PA)

“So we will always be thinking about how we limit the number of contacts we have and how we reduce the risk of infection by keeping up hygiene measures and maintaining some level of distance and wearing face coverings where appropriate.”

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe will bring a proposal to Cabinet on Friday to ensure mothers returning from maternity leave “are treated fairly” under the wage subsidy scheme.

The Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) pays up to 410 euro per week to an employee of a business that has lost more than 25% of its turnover, on the condition that employers keep those workers on their books.

However, due to an anomaly, women who are returning from unpaid maternity leave and were not on their company’s payroll in January and February are unable to access the subsidy.

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