Covid-19 latest: 40 new cases confirmed as NPHET say 'this is a long game'

Covid-19 latest: 40 new cases confirmed as NPHET say 'this is a long game'
Dr Ronan Glynn Acting Chief Medical Officer Department of Health. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Department of Health has this evening confirmed 40 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases in Ireland to 26,838.

One more person diagnosed with Covid-19 has died.

Of the cases notified 12 are in Dublin, 11 in Kildare, seven in Offaly, and the rest of the cases are in Clare, Donegal, Limerick, Meath, Roscommon, Tipperary and Wicklow.

Twenty-one are men and 19 are women, with 75% under 45 years of age.

Speaking at the press conference this evening, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said that although today's new cases may be perceived as relatively low, they are still two to three times higher than case numbers identified back in late June and early July. 

"Due to the nature of how this virus spreads, there can be a delay between when it seeds and when we see it emerge in our communities. 

"For this reason, we work in 14 day and five day average periods in order to ensure that we are seeing the full picture of how the disease is behaving in Ireland. 

"While today’s figures are relatively low in the context of this particular week, it is important that we remember that this is a long game," he explained. 

Professor Nolan said the best estimate of the reproduction 'R' number is now at 1.6.

"We know that Covid-19 transmits when people come into close contact with one another. 

"When we ask you to follow public health measures and adhere to public health advice, it is with the sole aim of limiting this disease’s opportunity to spread through this close contact," Professor Nolan said.

"It’s important that everyone in Ireland knows the things they can do in their own communities to help.

"They are: limiting our contacts, avoiding crowded indoor settings, close attention to hand and respiratory hygiene, wearing a face covering where appropriate, using the Covid Tracker App and self-isolation at the first sign of symptoms. 

"These apply countrywide, not just in the counties of Kildare, Laois and Offaly," he concluded.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, urged people to "hold firm".

"When NPHET tracks and analyses Covid-19’s progression in Ireland, we take into account much more than daily figures. 

"Although today’s number is positive relative to what we saw last weekend, we remain concerned about both the number of cases that are being reported and their distribution across the country," he said.

"The five day average for reported cases nationally is now at 75 per day. 

"Even when we exclude Kildare, Laois and Offaly from this, it remains significantly elevated for the rest of the country at 31 per day - it is worth recalling that in late June, the five day average for cases reported was less than 10.

In light of this, I ask people to continue to hold firm and continue to closely follow public health advice," Dr Glynn continued. 

The Covid-19 death toll in Ireland now stands at 1,774.

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