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Level 5 Christmas For Dublin?

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Things are moving in the right direction was the overall message from Dr Tony Holohan yesterday. With reported new Covid cases down to 767 yesterday, we’re definitely in a better place than were two weeks ago.

The Chief Medical Officer was quietly optimistic. “Even when were experiencing the exponential growth in the last number of weeks, the increasing number of cases we saw from late September to October we were still reporting a reproductive number of 1.4. That’s still quite a large amount of suppression”, Dr Holohan said.

“If we had no measures being taken by the public we think that the reproductive number would be somewhere between 4.4 and 4.5, so we’ve had to get it down a little bit lower. And the evidence now is that we’re having an impact on that. We still have a long way to go”, he added.

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Dr Holohan sounded a cheerful note about the chances of vaccine becoming available. “We’re increasingly optimistic as an international community that we will see some developments in this field hopefully in the months ahead and in the early part of 2021”.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though and Dr Holohan signalled a warning to the capital. “We point to two sources of concern and challenge for us. One is in relation to Dublin where we haven’t seen a drop in the way that we’ve seen across the rest of the country.”

New case numbers in Dublin were described by public health officials as being “stubbornly” high, when compared with the rest of the country. There has been a signifcant drop off in Coronavirus cases countrywide since restrictions were tightened. Dublin cases remain at around 200 per day, however. Yesterday, Monday, Dublin reported 300 new cases – a very significant portion of the 767 total.

Dr Holohan also expressed worry at the increase in cases in the over-65s. It will be the worry surrounding the capital’s figures, however, that will give Dubliners pause for thought. The Level 5 restrictions are due to be reviewed in a couple of weeks time. It now looks unlikely that Dublin, at least, will move to a lower level of restrictions at that time. Even Christmas could be in danger in Dublin if we don’t stem the spread of Covid-19 in the capital sharpish.

For up to date information on Covid-19 restrictions please check https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/c36c85-covid-19-coronavirus/