Officials warn of 'rapid increase' in Limerick Covid cases due to social gatherings

There were 137 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Limerick over the past five days.
Officials warn of 'rapid increase' in Limerick Covid cases due to social gatherings

David Raleigh

Department of Public Health officials in the mid-west have expressed “serious concerns over a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases in Limerick”, which have been linked to social gatherings over the past two weeks.

According to provisional data released this evening by Public Health Mid-West, there were 137 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Limerick over the past five days. These include 11 cases on Sunday, 20 cases on Monday, 22 cases on Tuesday, 38 cases on Wednesday, and 46 new cases yesterday.

The Department said activities that have contributed to the increase across the county “include house parties, indoor gatherings, social activities surrounding last week’s Eid celebrations, as well as significant onward transmission from weekend social events into workplaces”.

The director of Public Health Mid-West, Dr Mai Mannix said: “We have not seen this level of infection in the community since early March, which is a very worrying trend. If daily cases continue at this rate, coupled with the health service’s coping with the sinister cyberattack, we will find ourselves in a very troubling position.

A local Department spokesman said it remained “in a strong position to identify these behavioural trends and swiftly manage new outbreaks”, despite the attack on the HSE's IT systems causing “significant disruption to public health”.

“Our priority is to identify new cases, isolate them, and undertake contact tracing. The faster this happens, the faster we can control the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

The spokesman urged anyone displaying symptoms or who is concerned they have been exposed to possible infection to “please make attempts to arrange a PCR test at the Limerick Covid test centre”.

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