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Dublin turns the tide in second wave fightback

  • 270 new cases and 16 deaths

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Henry Street yesterday as Dublin fights back against virus

Henry Street yesterday as Dublin fights back against virus

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Henry Street yesterday as Dublin fights back against virus

Dublin is finally winning the battle against Covid-19 - after a slow start.

Three weeks into the lockdown its 14-day incidence has dropped to 162.6 per 100,000, from 257.7 per 100,000 when the restrictions started.

Meanwhile, moves are being considered to outlaw the use of visors, which are widely used by shop staff and hairdressers in Dublin city as an alternative to face masks.

The visors are not thought to be as effective as face masks and should only be used in very specific circumstances such as where a person has breathing difficulties, according to the HSE.

The warning comes as 16 additional Covid-19 related deaths were reported, along with 270 new cases of the coronavirus yesterday.

This month is seeing a high death toll and 14 of the latest fatalities occurred in November, with one in October and another under investigation.

It comes as the country reached the halfway mark in the six-week lockdown.

"The significant improvement in the profile of the disease is encouraging. The 14-day incidence of 152 cases per 100,000 is down by 51pc compared to the previous two weeks," said Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

"To maintain this positive trajectory, we need to remain vigilant to the highly infectious nature of this virus, which can easily spread from person to person through close contact and by social mixing.

"Our individual, everyday choices to stay at home and keep our contacts to a minimum are vital to driving down the spread of Covid-19."

There were 282 Covid-19 patients in hospital yesterday, of whom 40 were in intensive care.

Among yesterday's cases 82 were in Dublin, 21 in Donegal, 18 in Roscommon, 17 in Limerick and 17 in Tipperary. The remaining 115 cases were spread across 20 other counties.

Donegal has the highest 14-day incidence at 284.6 per 100,000 followed by Limerick, Meath , Roscommon, Westmeath and Dublin.

Benefiting

Leitrim, Wexford and Wicklow have the lowest 14-day incidence rates.

In the last two weeks Dublin, Cork and Donegal have seen the highest number of new cases.

Cavan, which had a very high rate, now appears to be one of the counties which is benefiting from the lockdown and it now has a 14-day incidence of 140.5 per 100,000, down from 1,058.1 per 100,000 when it started.

Meath, which was also badly hit, has seen its incidence rate fall to 203 per 100,000 from 661.9 per 100,000 during the same period.

Meanwhile, the Independent Scientific Advocacy Group for Covid-19 urged the Irish and Northern Irish governments to adopt a Covid-19 strategy with the overarching objective of eliminating the virus from our shared island.

The group, led by Professor Anthony Staines of Dublin City University, includes doctors and scientists from both jurisdictions.

"We advocate for a decisive Covid-19 elimination strategy across the island, informed by science and developed with the public through open discussion," the group stated.

"We propose to bring local transmission on the island to zero, and then sustain it over the long term - through the proactive management of subsequent outbreaks - rather than living with the long-term restrictions and an unending cycle of lockdowns."

The group said the current policy is "living with the virus".

"This has led to a steady rise in infections from the end of July to mid-October, when severe restrictions were reintroduced across the island. The hope now is that cases of Covid-19 will fall low enough to move back to Level 3 restrictions on December 1.

"The Republic will remain at Level 3, until Level 5 lockdown is required again. These cycles of lockdown and release will recur every three to four months until late 2021 at the earliest.

Allowed

"If a safe and highly effective vaccine is not widely available by then, these cycles will continue for several more years. Northern Ireland is under similar restrictions."

Meanwhile, a further 11 people in Northern Ireland have died after testing positive for Covid-19 and 514 new cases of the virus have been reported.

The lockdown in the Republic is due to end on December 1, but it is still unclear just how much of the economy will be allowed to reopen and whether wet pubs can welcome in customers.


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