The acting Chief Medical Officer’s warning that Covid-19 is spreading ‘disproportionately’ among younger people.
It’s after new figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre show 40 percent of cases in the last two months have been in people between 15 and 34.
Another 334 cases of the virus were reported across the country yesterday.
The National Public Health Emergency Team will consider whether to recommend further restrictions at a meeting tomorrow.
Up to eight counties, including Waterford, Kidare & Wicklow, are in danger of being moved up to level three, which Dublin is at.
Professor in infectious diseases at the Royal College of Surgeons, Sam McConkey, says the highest level of restrictions may be needed in the coming weeks noting “I think the rates have gone up as everyone can see in four or five other counties, almost as high as Dublin and we really need to do something, this is a time for taking action, the earlier we do it, the less duration and the less restrictive those measures will have to be and unfortunately as the number of cases continue to rise whether in Dublin or in those counties then unfortunately the only sensible thing to do is to go to level four or level five”.
Professor of Immunology at Maynooth University Paul Moynagh is criticising the system of levels the Government has put in place saying “I’m looking at these five levels & all I see is sortof the stick approach and this idea of restrictions & more severe restrictions, I think we need to be more proactive and come up with a strategy in terms of how we’re going to improve for example you know in terms of hospital capactiy & also our testing tracing systems so I think that’s where the strategy needs to focus”.
Meanwhile, there were 391 new outbreaks of Covid-19 in private homes last week.
The previous week, there was an increase of just 61, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
There have now been 2,463 outbreaks in private houses since the pandemic began.
Professor Emer Shelley, from the Royal College of Physicians, says introducing more restrictions on a county basis may prove difficult “Within counties there are some localised areas with quite high rates but as we know counties, people move up and down and around and in and out so it is difficult to introduce restrictions in some counties and where others nearby have much lower rates”.
She adds “I think it’s very unlikely that NPHET would bring the entire country up to level three for example to be honest, the same level as Dublin, because there are large areas where there are very few cases but then you have other counties with much higher numbers and much higher rates so it’s a question of whether or not they will institute changes in those counties with the highest rates”.