Coronavirus: Republic of Ireland Covid cases 'deeply concerning'

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CoronavirusImage source, Getty Images

The number of new coronavirus cases in the Republic of Ireland is "deeply concerning", the taoiseach (Irish PM) has said.

Two hundred new cases were reported on Saturday - the highest number in a single day since the start of May.

A further 66 were confirmed on Sunday, taking the country's total number of confirmed cases to 27,257.

Micheál Martin said that it is an "evolving situation" and the government would monitor it closely.

He said he had discussed the situation with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn.

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Mr Martin made the comments in a tweet on Sunday.

RTÉ is reporting that 68 of the 200 cases reported on Saturday are linked to outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case, so the source of infection is known.

But 25 are cases of community transmission where the source is not known.

The remaining 107 cases reported on Saturday are still being investigated.

'This pandemic isn't over'

On Saturday, Dr Glynn said there were now "multiple clusters with secondary spread of disease and rising numbers of cases in many parts of the country".

"This is deeply concerning," he said, adding the organisation responsible for overseeing the coronavirus response in the country would be monitoring the situation "extremely closely over the coming days".

The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet on Monday to review the rise in cases and any necessary recommendations will be made to the government, Dr Glynn added on Sunday.

"The phased reopening of the country has afforded people the opportunity to socialise with each other again," he said.

"However, some are doing this recklessly and undermining the efforts of the majority of people around the country who are following public health advice. This cannot continue.

"This pandemic isn't over just because we are tired of living with it."

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Micheál Martin said the Irish government was monitoring the situation closely

In the Republic of Ireland, the total number of cases in now 27,257.

In its most recent reporting period, it recorded zero deaths. There have been 1,774 Covid-19 related deaths in the country.

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

Meanwhile, 27 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Northern Ireland.

It means there have been 288 new cases in the past seven days.

The NI Department of Health figure covers tests carried out in the a 24-hour period.

The department stopped issuing updates on its online dashboard over the weekend earlier in the summer.

These updates resumed from Saturday, but only for information on the number of tests carried out and the proportion which came back positive.

No information was released on n Saturday or Sunday regarding any further deaths in NI, instead this data will be published on Monday.

A total of 6,391 people have now tested positive for coronavirus in Northern Ireland.

The latest data released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) said the disease had featured on a total of 859 people's death certificates in Northern Ireland by 7 August.

The Department of Health's death toll by the same date (7 August) was 556 - more than 300 fewer.

The department's statistics are calculated differently from Nisra and are based on a patient having previously tested positive for the virus.

However, the department's toll has now risen to 558 after it recorded a death on 8 August and a further death of the patient aged under 40 on Thursday 13 August.