Chief medical officer (CMO) Tony Holohan and Minister of Health Stephen Donnelly will meet Donegal politicians later today to discuss the high number of Covid cases in the county.
Concerns were raised at a briefing by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on Friday, where public health officials said the prevalence of Covid-19 in Donegal is being driven by “persistent and reasonably widespread non-compliance” with restrictions.
Deputy CMO, Dr Ronan Glynn, said the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population in Donegal is more than double the national rate.
The incidence rate in Donegal is 293.4 per 100,000 population, compared to the national rate of 127.3 per 100,000, he said.
Local TDs welcomed the meeting between public health officials and Donegal politicians which will take place Saturday evening at 6pm.
— Joe McHugh (@McHughJoeTD) May 1, 2021
In the Milford area of Donegal, however, the incidence is 675 per 100,000 and in Letterkenny is almost 640 per 100,000, he added.
“At the moment it doesn't appear that workplaces are an acute driver and unfortunately what’s being reported is persistent and reasonably widespread non-compliance with basic measures,” Dr Glynn said.
Prof Philip Nolan, chairman of the Irish Epidemiological Advisory Modelling Group, said “local engagement” by health officials is needed to suppress the virus in the county.
Prof Nolan said continuing to put Donegal into Level 5 lockdown would not be the first step the State would take.
“We are going to see outbreaks... Parts of our country find it more difficult to suppress the disease like in Donegal,” he toldon Saturday.
“The first step is local engagement and community engagement. There is always the possibility a regional approach may have to be taken in the future to contain the virus.
“We are not at that point yet.”
Meanwhile HSE chief, Paul Reid, has said work is underway on the 27 version of the national vaccination plan.
If approved by the Department of Health on Monday, 26,000 vaccines of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine will be administered for the first time ever in Ireland.
Work continues the weekend on a revised vaccination plan (Version 27!), Three key drivers of it will be, 1.Continue down through the ages, where the Covid19 risks are highest 2.Increase weekly vaccinations based on supply. 3. Help the further opening of society & economy @HSELive
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) May 1, 2021