Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.37 11 Mar 2020


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The head of the Health Service Executive (HSE) says Ireland is entering "a new phase" of the coronavirus.

In a tweet, Paul Reid said: "We are entering a new phase in #Covid19.

"I fully support our hospitals who have to make decisions on restricting visitors based on clinical risk, patient and public safety.

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"Please do as we urge and our ask will increase as we progress."

He did not eleaborate.

However the Government has previously said Ireland would move from containment towards delay and mitigation phases over the coming weeks and months.

On Sunday chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said Ireland remained "in containment phase" for the outbreak.

Containing it relates to early detection of cases and following up close contact to prevent the disease taking hold.

Delay is to slow the spread of the virus, lowering the peak impact and pushing it away from the winter season.

Mitigation refers to providing care for people who become ill, supporting hospitals to maintain essential services and ensuring ongoing support for people ill in the community.

This is to minimise the overall impact of the disease on society, public services and on the economy.

It comes as two new cases were confirmed in Northern Ireland on Wednesday - bringing the total there to 18.

There are 34 cases in the Republic, bringing the overall total on the island of Ireland to 52.

HSE chief: Ireland is moving into "a new phase" of COVID-19

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Containment Coronavirus Covid19 Delay Delay And Mitigation Dr Tony Holohan HSE Chief Mitigation New Phase Northern Ireland Paul Reid

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