The Taoiseach says he does not have an indication of what the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) could recommend after its meeting today after the Government rejected the group's suggestion to move to Level 5 restrictions earlier this week.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said he is "deeply concerned" about the spread of Covid-19 since Nphet last met on Sunday.
Taoiseach Michael Martin says the government wants to maintain a gradual move through the levels.
"I don't have an indication of what Nphet may decide today. We have a graduated plan as a country because we wanted to give the people out there some sense of expectation and anticipation as to what could happen if case numbers got worse," said Mr Martin.
"Government is of a view that we want to maintain that gradual response," he said.
Earlier, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said he believes it will wait a number of weeks before deciding whether the country should escalate restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
Mr Ryan has said the Government should wait two to three weeks before moving the country to a new level of its Living with Covid-19 plan.
Let’s see if the collective effort of our people, and there is huge collective effort, will have an effect in two or three weeks’ time where the numbers stabilise rather than rise.
“It takes two or three weeks to see what the effect of a level is, because there’s lag. The numbers we’re seeing today are a fact of what happened two weeks ago by and large, so I think what we should do is see,” he said.
“Let’s see if the collective effort of our people, and there is huge collective effort, will have an effect in two or three weeks’ time where the numbers stabilise rather than rise, and it’s only after that that’ll make the call.”
Nphet has said the country is now in a period of “exponential” growth of the virus and that cases could exceed 1,000 a day in a matter of weeks.
It comes as various public health experts have called for tightened restrictions to curb the spread of the virus around the country.
Professor Sam McConkey from the Royal College of Surgeons said that stricter rules are needed to ensure people can see their loved ones at Christmas: “My view is we do need to take increased restrictions.
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“What we’ve been doing in Dublin for the last few weeks and for the rest of the country for the last few days, has not been adequate to bring the increase of coronavirus in Ireland under control, so we need to take increased measures of some sort.”
Associate professor of biochemistry at Trinity College, Tómas Ryan, told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show that the country should now be moved to Level 5 restrictions with measures reduced at a local level in counties where levels of transmission were lower.
Prof Ryan said that the current Government policy of “negotiating with public health officials” was not working: “The virus doesn’t care about the five levels.”
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Speaking on the same show, Donegal GP Martin Coyne said that Level 3 restrictions would work if people did what they are supposed to do. However, the open border with Northern Ireland was also a problem according to the doctor.
Infectious diseases consultant Paddy Mallon said that as a society behaviour had changed since the first wave, “we have learnt how to protect the old and vulnerable” but the health system was still seeing increased hospitalisations and ICU use.
The situation was not overwhelming yet, but at the current trajectory the situation would soon be unsustainable, he warned.
Too many people were doing things that they did not need to be doing, he said. Having coffee in each other’s houses, hosting books clubs, “small little actions, that are all contributing to transmission between households.”
"I don't envy anyone on Nphet or the Government having to make decisions,” he added.
Difficult decisions will have to be made and they will have to be made quickly, he said. “We all just need to work harder.”