Limerick politicians to hold crisis meeting with CMO and Minister for Health

Dr Tony Holohan coronavirus covid-19

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health will meet public representatives this Friday

PUBLIC representatives from Limerick are set to meet with the Chief Medical Officer and the Minister for Health later this Friday to discuss the recent surge in cases of Covid-19 in Limerick.

The meeting has been arranged in response to the spike which has seen more than 800 cases being reported over the past two weeks. Figures collated by Public Health Mid West show there were 103 cases on Wednesday - the highest daily figure since January 19. A further 75 cases have been reported this Friday with 12 in Clare and five in North Tipperary.

Speaking ahead of this afternoon's meeting, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said there are concerns about the situation in Limerick.

"There were 103 cases reported from Limerick yesterday which really is a very high number and over 800 cases over the past two weeks We are concerned and we’re meeting with the doctors in Limerick this morning to discuss the situation further there," Dr Ronan Glynn told Dublin radio station Spin 1038.

While there has been a surge in cases, Dr Glynn says the there has also been a collective response from people in Limerick with huge numbers of people coming forward to get tested for Covid-19.

It's understood more than 17,000 tests have been carried out at the two walk-in testing centres in the city over the past fortnight.

"The situation isn’t good there but if we can see the collective community response once again in Limerick that we’ve seen previously we have to be optimistic that we can overcome this," commented Dr Glynn as he appealed to people who are not vaccinated to limit their contacts.

"For now, the key messages apply more so in Limerick. If you’re not vaccinated and if you don’t have to meet up with someone, then don’t at the moment, just take a step back for a couple of weeks. Let’s turn the tide in Limerick.”

The Mid-West Major Emergency Management Group will also meet this Friday at the request of the HSE and a garda operation will be put in place across the bank holiday weekend.

However, speaking at a scheduled meeting of the Limerick Joint Policing Committee, Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn said there can't be a garda "at every street corner" and he appealed to members of the public to act responsibly.

The operation will see additional patrols and checkpoints being mounted in areas where large crowds are likely to gather.

The issue of so called takeaway pints was also raised during this Friday's meeting with a number of members expressing their dissatisfaction with some of the scenes associated with the practice.

Chief Supt Gerard Roche says it is a problem but he added there are a number of legal issues that have arisen in the context of the Covid-19 regulations.  "There is a little bit of a legal quandary" he told the meeting.

Senior garda management from Limerick are also due to meet with representative of the pub trade this Friday to discuss this issue and the further re-opening of the hospitality sector on Monday.

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