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21 new Covid-19 cases in Carlow & Kilkenny as Chief Medical Officer warns Ireland’s dealing with ‘widespread’ community transmission

Three deaths & 811 new incidences were announced last evening

The Chief Medical Officer has warned Ireland is now dealing with ‘widespread’ community transmission of Covid-19.

Dr Tony Holohan says it has become ‘a whole population issue’ and has appealed to every individual, family and workplace to act on public health advice.

811 new cases of the virus have been confirmed – spread across all counties. 15 of these were in Kilkenny with six in Carlow almost mirroring the day before when another 15 and seven were recorded in the two counties respectively. It now means that 556 positive tests have been detected in Kilkenny to date with 329 in Carlow.

Professor Emer Shelley from the Royal College of Physicians says it’s not just an issue for border counties noting¬†“Numbers have gone up quite a bit in Cork for example and hospital consultants there have seen increased admissions, increased numbers in ICU and that’s just one example so there’s really a lot of transmission and it is one that we’re going to have to keep a very close eye on”.

Garda Commissioner …

The Garda Commissioner is restricting his movements after coming into close contact with an officer who tested positive for Covid-19.

Drew Harris was tested for the virus at the weekend after what gardaí say was a socially distant meeting with the person late last week.

He has tested negative for the disease.

A Garda statement says he’s now restricting his movements in line with public health advice, but continues to carry out his duties.

Separately, gardai say “a number of other members” are restricting their movements after being found to be close contacts of a positive case.

In Northern Ireland …

Northern Ireland is expected to outline plans for a second full lockdown later.

It’s due to last four weeks, with schools closing for two.

It comes after a severe rise in Covid-19 cases in the past couple of weeks with 863 infections announced in the North yesterday.

In the UK …

UK Government scientists have said thousands of lives in England could be saved with a two-week circuit breaker lockdown.

It’s believed there would be 7,000 fewer deaths there if schools shut for a fortnight this month, and people were told to stay home.

It’s as police in Liverpool dispersed a big crowd of people partying as the city went into a local lockdown.

It’s the only region of England on the highest level of the UK’s three-tier system of Covid-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, a British man has suffered sudden hearing loss linked with Covid-19.

A report for the British Medical Journal has revealed doctors picked up the issue after the 45-year-old needed intensive care treatment.

There’ve been five recorded cases of hearing loss following a Covid-19 infection.

In the Netherlands …

Bars, cafes and restaurants are closing in the Netherlands as authorities there try to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The country has one of the highest 14-day incidence rates in Europe according to the E-C-D-C.

The sale of alcohol and cannabis will be banned after 8pm, while wearing face masks indoors will be compulsory.