THERE ARE six additional Covid-19 cases in Limerick, of a total of 136 new confirmed cases in the country in the past 24 hours.
There are 676 confirmed cases in Limerick.
There are now 27,676 confirmed cases in Ireland, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre this Thursday.
There has been one additional death, bringing the official death toll to 1,776.
Acting chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn said that Limerick has seen 66 new cases in the past 14 days — 5% of the 1,311 new cases in the country in the same time frame.
Seventy-two percent of these cases are aged under 45, and 6% — or 81 — have been in healthcare workers.
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “The core message from NPHET this week is to limit your social networks. Stick to a limit of 6 people from no more than 3 households indoors, and 15 people outdoors. Risk assess your environment and do not stay if it doesn’t feel safe. Remember that the virus wants large groups to gather together in order to spread. Do not give it the opportunity. We can continue to suppress this disease in Ireland by working together and staying apart.”
Prof Philip Nolan, of NPHET, says the overall picture at the moment is of a "sustained high level of new cases being confirmed per day".— Fintan Walsh (@FintanYTWalsh) August 20, 2020
He said there is also a "shift in the pattern" of those cases over the last week
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said the reproduction number—the R number—is now around 1.2. This is a decrease from the 1.6 to 1.8 at the start of the month.
He said that even though it sounds like good news, "we need to do better than that".
Prof Nolan said an R number of 1.2 will lead to a "reasonably quick and inexorable increase in the level of disease spreading through the community", and that the new measures announced on Tuesday are designed to bring that R number down
“There are two concerns now, the number of new cases per day remains high and the pattern has changed from large outbreaks in specific settings to much smaller outbreaks widely distributed across the country. The measures announced this week, asking us to stay apart, aim to suppress COVID-19 in the community.”
Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist and Integrated Care Lead HSE, said; “Playing our part includes presenting for testing when required. This includes one initial test and a follow up test within seven days. By fulfilling this testing cycle you reduce the threat of asymptomatic transmission and help to control the spread of the disease.”
Today, the HSE has published results of the Study to Investigate COVID-19 Infection in People Living in Ireland (SCOPI): A national seroprevalence study, June-July 2020. This study, the first of its type in Ireland, measured antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 virus, which are an indication of past infection with COVID-19. The study reports a prevalence of infection of 0.6% in Sligo and 3.1% in Dublin. Based on these results, HPSC estimates a national prevalence rate of 1.7%.
Dr Derval Igoe, Principal Investigator for SCOPI at the HPSC said: “It is not surprising that a relatively low national seroprevalence of 1.7% was observed here. Other countries in Europe, such as Spain and Italy, where there has been a much more intense epidemic, have reported national seroprevalence estimates of 5% and 2.5% respectively. This means that the vast majority of people living in Ireland had not been infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus by the time of the study. As a society, we need to continue with our public health measures, including physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available.”
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