'Numbers have gone up quite a bit in Cork': warnings of widespread Covid-19 community transmission

'Numbers have gone up quite a bit in Cork': warnings of widespread Covid-19 community transmission

Shoppers and outdoor dining on Winthrop Street, Cork City.

The Chief Medical Officer has warned Ireland is now dealing with "widespread" community transmission of Covid-19.

Dr Tony Holohan says it has become "a whole population issue" and has appealed to every individual, family and workplace to act on public health advice.

Yesterday, 811 new cases of the virus were been confirmed, spread across all 26 counties. 141 of those cases were in Cork.

70% of the cases recorded were in people under the age of 45, the median age being 30.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is due to meet tomorrow to discuss whether Level 3 restrictions have done enough to curb the spread of the virus, or whether a recommendation of increased measures is needed.

Today, Northern Ireland are expected to announce increased restrictions, with the closure of the hospitality sector likely. The closure of schools for a period has also been discussed.

A whole-island approach has been called for in order to supress the virus here, but Level 3-like restrictions may not be enough for the North, where rates of the virus have soared in recent weeks, with almost 6,300 cases recorded there in the last week.

Professor Emer Shelley from the Royal College of Physicians says it is not just an issue for border counties.

"The numbers have gone up quite a bit in Cork for example and hospital consultants there have seen increased admissions and increased numbers in ICU, and that's just one example.

"There is really a lot of transmission and it's one we are just going to have to keep a very close eye on."

This comes as Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is restricting his movements following a meeting with someone who later tested positive for the virus.

The Commissioner later tested positive, but has continued restricting his movements in line with public health advice.

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