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Dublin is 'like the early stages of the pandemic' - Glynn

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Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain

Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain

Colin Keegan

Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain

People in Dublin need to take extra care to follow Covid-19 precautions as it continues to be one of the counties with a high number of new virus cases.

The message was issued by acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn yesterday who said a number of counties, including Dublin and Limerick, have topped the list for new Covid-19 infections over the past 14 days.

Overall, the national daily toll of new cases of Covid-19 fell to 53 yesterday.

Dublin recorded 25 new cases, with 11 in Limerick and the remaining 17 cases spread between Kildare, Longford, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Laois, Meath, Roscommon, Tipperary and Westmeath.

Dr Glynn said the high number in Dublin was not surprising given the population and reflected the pattern in the early stages of the pandemic.

The situation in Dublin will be kept under review but there are no plans for a new lockdown, he added.

Stabilising

Overall, the spread of Covid-19 appears to be stabilising, reducing the risk of another national lockdown following the recent spike in daily infections.

Dr Glynn said he was "heartened" by the apparent levelling off in new cases of the virus in recent days. The next two weeks will be crucial in signalling if the latest surge has been fully brought under control.

Most infection clusters are found in households, which account for more than 125 outbreaks.

Yesterday's health briefing was told that a school child who needs to be tested for Covid-19 could face a delay of up to 72 hours before getting a result.

Under the guidelines for managing these suspected cases, the child's entire household - including parents and siblings - must restrict their movements in that time, meaning no school or work unless it can be done remotely at home.

Laois GP Dr Sumi Dunne said the waiting time for a test can range from 48 to 72 hours.

If the test result comes back as negative the child must remain at home for another 48 hours, she added.

"We are aware that this is an anxious time for parents and guardians. GPs across the country are here to support them. If you feel your child is unwell, outside of a blocked/runny nose and seasonal sneezing, please do not send them into school. Keep them at home, restrict your movements and make contact with your GP."

Dr Glynn also said while he welcomed the rise in the number of people wearing face masks, there is evidence that not everyone is wearing them properly.

They should not be worn around the neck or under the nose, he added.

Face visors are an acceptable alternative to face coverings but they are not as effective, he cautioned.

Concerts

Asked about proposals that would allow some concerts to take place without alcohol being served, he said it was "productive and constructive" and the hope was to work to ensure as much cultural activity as possible can resume safely.

HSE psychiatrist Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain said: "As we continue through the school year, we expect cases and these will be responded to rapidly, tailored to that outbreak and led by public health doctors.

"We all have a responsibility to keep our schools open by applying this advice to our daily lives. Remember regular hand washing, physical distance, face coverings where appropriate and reduce your contacts."