Covid-19: Public warned against complacency after large rise in cases

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Digital Desk staff

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is calling on people to redouble their efforts after the highest number of new Covid-19 cases since May were diagnosed on Saturday.

Public health officials recorded 200 positive tests and no further deaths. Some 68 per cent of the new confirmed cases were in people aged under 45.

The number of patients in hospital with the virus is 16, an increase of two on Friday's figure. Eight of these patients are in intensive care.

Dr Ronan Glynn, the acting chief medical officer, said there were now multiple clusters of the disease with rising numbers of cases in many parts of the country.

He said: "This is deeply concerning. NPHET [National Public Health Emergency Team] will monitor this extremely closely over the coming days. This virus is still out there and has not gone away.”

Reacting to the increasing case numbers, Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail, a GP from Cork, said he was concerned about the virus being transmitted on to older people.

He said: “The incubation period of coronavirus is 14 days. So yes, 70 per cent of the cases are under the age of 45. But these are the people that will be potentially spreading it on to other people.”

“At the moment it looks like it is people under the age of 45 catching coronavirus and then spreading it, but that pattern may change significantly within the next two to four weeks,” he said.

Eighty-one of the cases recorded on Saturday were in Co Kildare, more than any other county.

The county went into lockdown along with Laois and Offaly a week ago after a surge in cases linked to outbreaks at meat processing factories.

A mushroom plant in Co Tipperary has also suspended its operations after 11 workers tested positive.

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