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21 new cases can't be traced as experts hunt virus down


Acting CMO Dr Ronan Glynn

Acting CMO Dr Ronan Glynn

Colin Keegan

Acting CMO Dr Ronan Glynn

Public health doctors are increasingly trying to hunt down Covid-19 in hidden places across the country as new figures yesterday revealed the source of a large number of new virus cases could not be found.

These cases of community transmission amount to some of the biggest threats to handling the pandemic.

Out of the 79 newly diagnosed people with the virus, 21 could not say where they contracted it, signalling it is spreading in communities.

Earlier this week it emerged the level of community transmission of coronavirus in Ireland had doubled in the previous 10 days.

Yesterday's figures also revealed that the virus is continuing to spread across a wide swathe of the country and new cases are emerging in many counties.


It emerged that 43 of the new cases were diagnosed in Dublin and nine in Kildare, which remains in semi-lockdown.

Another 12 people were diagnosed in Cork and Tipperary while the remaining 15 cases were in Clare, Donegal, Laois, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Roscommon, Wexford and Wicklow.

The majority of the newly diagnosed are from younger age groups under the age of 45.

Around thirty of the newly confirmed cases are associated with known outbreaks of the virus in areas like workplaces, or are linked to close contacts of someone already known to be infected.

One of the key messages to people this weekend is to limit their social contacts because it is people who spread the virus.


The Academy on Abbey Street – the events industry is struggling with the six-person limit on indoor events

The Academy on Abbey Street – the events industry is struggling with the six-person limit on indoor events

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

The Academy on Abbey Street – the events industry is struggling with the six-person limit on indoor events

Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: "We as a nation must show solidarity with Kildare in our collective efforts, especially over the next two weeks, by working together to suppress this virus. We can protect each other by following the public health advice.

"I am asking all households across Ireland to play your part, reduce your social contacts, wash your hands, keep a 2m distance from each other and wear a face covering in shops and on public transport.

"These actions are vital to protect our families and safeguard those who are most vulnerable to the disease."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said yesterday that an advanced payment had been approved to ensure the country gets a share of any successful vaccine which might emerge from trials.

"This is important to people as they wrestle with all these restrictions," he added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday it hoped the coronavirus crisis will be over in less than two years.

The WHO also recommended that children over 12 should wear masks in the same contexts as adults in the attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

"Children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a one-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area."


Meanwhile, the patient safety watchdog Hiqa examined if coronavirus can be spread through airborne transmission.

It is already known that people can catch coronavirus when an infected person coughs or sneezes, spraying droplets of saliva and mucus, which others can inhale. Hiqa said there is so far limited, low certainty evidence that coronavirus may be transmitted via aerosols.

Although there may be risk when in low-temperature, enclosed or poorly ventilated environments.

While spread appears to be primarily by contact and droplet transmission, the relative importance of aerosol transmission is unclear.