Newstalk
Newstalk

07.10 9 Apr 2020


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Restrictions on movement and travel could be in place for months to come.

The death toll from Covid-19 has risen to 235 after a further 25 patients were confirmed dead yesterday.

Meanwhile 365 new cases have been confirmed, bringing the national total to 6,074.

The European Centre for Disease Control has warned that it is too early for countries to start lifting community and physical distancing measures.

COVID-19 Coronavirus People on the Bray promenade with social distancing measures in force, 27-03-2020. Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the restrictions must stay in place until the growth rate of the virus is reduced significantly.

“We are not anticipating a change in the short-term in terms of these arrangements,” he said.

“We are still seeing improvement in terms of the rate of growth of this particular infection.

“So, whereas it was at 33%, we have flattened the wave significantly. We need to get that down ideally to zero – or as close to zero as we possibly can.

“We are still experiencing improvement but we need more improvement and that is the reason I am saying these measures need to stay in place.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan at a Covid-19 briefing in Government Buildings, 24-03-2020. Image: Steve Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images

He noted that rolling restrictions could be in place until a vaccine is developed.

“There is a scenario whereby measures are in place until the disease gets back below a certain threshold and relaxation happens and if there is an increase, the restrictions might have to be tightened again and that is a scenario that could go on for a period of time,” he said.

“Obviously the world is looking at more long-term solutions where we do have a vaccine. We are not close to having a vaccine at this point.”

Dr Holohan said the National Public Health Emergency Team will meet on Friday to consider how well the current coronavirus restrictions are working.

Meanwhile, officials in Northern Ireland have confirmed five further COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total there to 78.

Meanwhile a further 84 confirmed cases bring the total in the North to 1,339.

The death toll on the island of Ireland stands at 313, while the number of confirmed cases is now at 7,413.

The Tánaiste will today discuss the all-Ireland response to the virus with the Northern Secretary Brandon Lewis and the Stormont first and deputy first ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill.


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