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Taoiseach says he expects 30% increase in COVID-19 cases every day

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said there will be an “exponential increase” in the number of conf...
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Newsroom

19.47 16 Mar 2020


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Taoiseach says he expects 30%...

Taoiseach says he expects 30% increase in COVID-19 cases every day

Newsroom
Newsroom

19.47 16 Mar 2020


Share this article


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said there will be an “exponential increase” in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ireland the coming days.

Mr Varadkar expects there will be a daily 30% rise in positive tests for the coronavirus here for the next few weeks.

This could mean over 10,000 cases diagnosed by the end of this month.

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The number of confirmed cases in the Republic stands at 223 after 54 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Republic of Ireland.

Speaking at a meeting of the Cabinet Subcommittee on COVID-19 this evening, Mr Varadkar said the increases "cannot be stopped".

He said: "There will be an exponential increase in the number of cases in the coming days and weeks, increases of roughly 30% in the number of cases every day.

"That is inevitable, that cannot be stopped.

"We are at the very start of that curve which people are becoming familiar with so there will be a very significant increase in the number of cases every day for the next couple of weeks."

Travel advice

The Tánaiste Simon Coveney said all non-essential travel from Ireland should be avoided until at least March 29th.

That advice also now applies to travel to the UK which had been previously exempted.

He says Ryanair and Aer Lingus are continuing flights to get passengers back from Spain with those flights expected to last until the weekend.

Mr Coveney also said new measures are being put in place for people arriving into Ireland.

He said: "We are also going to be imposing restrictions on everybody who comes into Ireland from now on asking them essentially to restrict their movement.

"When they land in Dublin Airport or Cork Airport or Shannon Airport or elsewhere they will be given clear instructions of what that means.

"It's not quite self-isolation but it certainly involves restriction in terms of peoples' movements.

At the same meeting, the Minister for Health Simon Harris said the pandemic "can not be wished away" and will have "a real impact on our people”

He added: “Our success will be dependent on how we, our people, stand up to the challenge”

'Flatten the curve'

The meeting comes after the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health said the next seven days will be "vital" in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Dr Tony Holohan said that "now is the time" to flatten the curve and that "every one of us must play our part" in attempting to delay and reduce a peak in the number of cases.

Dr Holohan issued a list of eight guidelines which people can follow in adherence with HSE guidelines regarding social distancing.

Additional reporting by Shane Beatty

Main image: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking tot he media this evening following the meeting of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on COVID-19. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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