Experts have raised major concerns after the COVID-19 ‘R’ number has jumped to 1.8 in Ireland.
Professor Philip Nolan called the surge in cases a cause for “serious concern” as five deaths and 69 infections were reported across the country today.
He said: “We have seen a significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 over the past week. The reproduction number for the virus is now estimated to be 1.8.
“A reproduction number of almost 2 is a serious concern, and although we have not yet seen a significant increase in community transmission, there is a significant risk this could develop over the coming days and weeks emphasising the need for each of us to be extremely cautious that we do not contribute to the transmission of the virus.”
Of the cases notified today;
- 37 are men / 31 are women
- 65% are under 45 years of age
- 39 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case
- 2 cases have been identified as community transmission
- 22 cases are located in Offaly, 19 in Kildare, 8 in Laois, 6 in Dublin, and 14 are spread across eight other counties (Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Louth, Meath and Wexford).
Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “Over the past fourteen days, 226 cases have arisen in Kildare, Laois and Offaly. These represent almost half of all cases in Ireland over that time period.
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“While the majority of these cases can be accounted for by outbreaks, this volume of cases is significant and our main priority now is to ensure that these outbreaks do not lead to widespread community transmission in the region.
“NPHET continues to monitor the situation closely. I urge people in these counties to remain vigilant to stop the further spread of COVID-19 in these areas.”
Source: Dublin News