Michael Staines
Michael Staines

08.06 16 Jun 2020


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Almost 1.7 million people now say they are wearing face masks in public spaces.

Research from the Department of Health indicates that the number of people wearing masks is up almost 300,000 on last week.

The research suggests that more 93% of people are washing their hands more often, while 89% are observing social distancing when queuing.

However, the number of people who said they are staying at home has fallen from over 90% to 635.

While just over one-third of people said they are now wearing faced masks or coverings, some 83% said they plan to.

A new public information campaign encouraging people to wear the masks was launched yesterday.

No coronavirus-related deaths were reported yesterday, while a further 18 cases were confirmed.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD wearing a face mask at the launch of a new face covering campaign, 15-06-2020. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said the small increase in the numbers wearing face coverings is encouraging, but he'd like to see even more people wearing them in public:

“We know obviously, 34% is not where we want to be,” he said. “28% was not where we want to be but we are going in the right direction.

“It is hoped that more people will wear the coverings in the appropriate settings.

“If you are going to be somewhere, an enclosed space where you can’t be sure that you are going to be two-metres away from everyone else in that space, you should have a covering with you and you should put it on before you go into that public transport or into that shop.”

Tony Holohan Chief Medical Officer Dept of Health Dr Tony Holohan speaking at the HSE media briefing at the Department of Health. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the increase in Ireland's excess death rate didn't last as long as in other European countries.

Analysis published by the Business Post at the weekend showed Ireland had more deaths than in a normal year in March and April, and this was higher than in other European countries.

Dr Holohan said that changed in May.

“It reduced back to base-line, in other words we have seen no excess mortality in this country since the beginning of May, whereas the excess mortality experience in many other European countries has continued past that point,” he said.


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