A “SHORT tough lockdown to hit the virus on the head again” could be considered by the government, the Tanaiste said.
Leo Varadkar wrote in the Sunday Independent today that the breaker could be considered – but cautioned that it would have far-reaching implications that need to be considered.
In a letter to the government last Sunday, NPHET announced their recommendation to put every county on Stage 5 of the Living with Covid-19 plan.
Below level 5 – the highest level of restrictions – the country would have father to revert to the lockdown that took place in March and April.
However, the government decided against the advice of NPHET and the following day the Taoiseach agreed to bring the entire country to level 3 of the Covid restrictions.
When speaking of RTE’s Claire Byrne Live on Monday night, the Tanaiste turned down NPHET’s recommendation, claiming it was not properly “thought out”.
Varadkar said the advice came “completely out of the blue” and the government felt it had gone too far.
Speaking of Claire Byrne Live on RTE One, the Tanaiste said, “What happened on Sunday night came out of the blue.
“It was inconsistent with the plan the government had agreed with NPHET – a tiered plan.
“They suggested something like an interruption. Something that has never been tried in Europe – it’s a short, sharp, strict lockdown for 3 or 4 weeks in the hope that it would bring the infections back down. ”
Yesterday, health bosses announced another 1,012 cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
The Ministry of Health also confirmed the country’s death toll had increased by three – 1,824 total.
Of the cases diagnosed, 241 are in Dublin, 112 in Cork, 80 in Cavan, 72 in Meath, 66 in Galway and the remaining 441 cases are spread across 21 other counties.
Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, said, “I am very concerned about the numbers we are seeing and how quickly they are deteriorating.
“All of today’s 1,012 cases were reported to the HPSC over a period of 24 hours to midnight.”
Health officials also announced that 199 Covid-19 patients are currently in the hospital, 31 of them in intensive care.
Dr. Holohan continued, “The 14-day incidence rate has increased from 108 per 100,000 last Sunday to 150 per 100,000 today, an increase of 39 percent.
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“All major indicators of the disease are deteriorating. For example, test positivity has steadily increased over the past week.
“The positivity rate of the tests through Friday, October 9, midnight, was 6.2 percent, which has more than doubled in less than a fortnight.
“The number of cases is growing in all age groups and across the country.”
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