443 new cases of Covid as health officials urge for delayed reopening

Nphet said there are currently 13 people in ICU with the virus and a further 43 people on hospital. 
443 new cases of Covid as health officials urge for delayed reopening

Kenneth Fox

Some health officials say delaying the planned easing of restrictions by three or four weeks could allow a safer re-opening.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Dr Nuala O'Connor, clinical lead on Covid-19 for the Irish College of GPs, says delaying the next stage of easing restrictions is the safest option.

“Nobody wants to go backwards, and we don't need to go backwards,” said Dr O'Connor.

“I know it is difficult for the people who are in the hospitality industry but if we can hold firm for another three or four weeks just so that we can get more of the population vaccinated, I think we can then open more safely."

Professor Gabriel Scally believes that should be delayed as should the planned restart of foreign travel from July 19th. He said Ireland is in a race between virus and vaccine.

“People will be going to resorts and places in the Med, for example, where people will be there from all sorts of countries," said Prof Scally.

“It is a mixing ground for the virus and the more cases there are, the more chances we have of variants. The more travel we have, the easier it is for them to come at us."

Hotel quarantine

The Health Minister has added nine designated States, including Indonesia and Russia, to the list of countries where travellers coming into Ireland must enter hotel quarantine.

From Tuesday, people entering the country from the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Haiti, Indonesia, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Russia and Tunisia must enter mandatory hotel quarantine.

It comes as a further 443 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic by the National Public Health Emergency Team(Nphet).

They said there are currently 13 people in ICU with the virus and a further 43 people on hospital.

Nphet also said that daily case numbers may change due to future data review, validation and update.

It comes as one of the State's leading scientists says consideration should be given to allowing the fully vaccinated population to resume aspects of normal life while the vaccine rollout for younger people should be expedited.

Kingston Mills, professor of experimental immunology at Trinity College Dublin, said Ireland should at least consider following the Israeli model which allowed fully vaccinated people to visit restaurants, pubs, cinemas, gyms and theatres and other indoor public spaces at an early stage in the vaccine rollout there.

He pointed out that Ireland now has about 40 per cent of the adult population fully vaccinated and said that percentage “could fill a lot of restaurants safely”.

He stressed however that one issue might be that staff working in hospitality “tend to be younger so they would be slightly at risk if they are not vaccinated”.

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