Immediate Move To Level 5 Lockdown NPHET Recommends For Second Time

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Immediate Move To Level 5 Lockdown NPHET Recommends For Second Time
CMO Dr Tony Holohan

NPHET met yesterday to discuss the worsening Covid-19 situation in Ireland. With 1,205 cases, a new daily record, announced last evening, NPHET’s recommendations contained in a letter to the government have not been announced publicly.

Two weeks ago, upon his return as Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan and the NPHET recommended in a leaked letter that Ireland move with immediate effect to the highest level of restrictions for a period of 4 weeks.  Level 5, essentially a full lockdown, would see all but essential workers confined to home while schools could remain open.

NPHET’s advice was rejected by the goverment and the entire country was moved instead to Level 3 in an effort to reduce Covid transmission while sustaining other elements of society and keeping as many people in work as possible.

With the steady march of Covid community transmission however, additional restrictions have been put in place. At midnight last night border counties moved to the more restrictive Level 4 and household visits are discouraged, countrywide, for all but essential or compassionate reasons.

Although NPHET’s recommendations are not as yet offically announced. It is believed that, for a second time, public health officials have recommended an immediate move to Level 5 for the entire country. This time, for 6 weeks. A meeting is said to be taking place at cabinet level to discuss these latest recommendations. The decision will be the government’s but the rapidly deteriorating Covid situation must be addressed. It’s a difficult balancing act but will the government set aside the public health officials’ recommendations for a second time?