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Covid-19 14 day incidence rate continues to fall as Kilkenny’s goes slightly higher than Carlow’s

CMO Dr Tony Holohan's encouraged by the 'positive trajectory' but is urging vigilance

The Chief Medical Officer says he’s encouraged by the country’s ‘positive trajectory’ in the fight against Covid-19.

However Dr Tony Holohan has urged people to remain vigilant despite significant improvements in the profile of the disease.

The estimated 14 day incidence rate is now 152, more than half of the peak on October 25th when the figure reached 309. And Kilkenny’s is now higher than Carlow’s at 131 & 130 respectively.

16 further deaths have been reported across the country while there has been 270 new cases, eight of them in Kilkenny with four or less in Carlow.

Professor Emer Shelly from the Royal College of Physicians says while progress is being made, it’s too soon to lift restrictions.

Defence Forces …

117 members of the Defence Forces have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic began.

According to freedom of information figures, it represents almost 1.4% of the organisation.

There are just over 8,500 members in the Defence Forces.

Dr Ray Walley, from the Irish Medical Organisation, says the number of cases isn’t surprising.

Naas General Hospital …

All elective surgeries at Naas General Hospital have been paused for two weeks, due to several outbreaks of Covid-19, according to KFM.

As parts of its response measures, out-patient appointments and other procedures have been suspended for 14 days.

Essential services are being maintained.

The hospital says it’s contacting affected patients.

Testing …

A private Covid-19 tester is warning the capacity doesn’t exist to check thousands of people arriving home for Christmas.

It comes as the Government announced new travel rules for red listed European countries yesterday.

From midnight on November 29th, people will be allowed to move freely once they pass a Covid-19 test five days following their arrival.

Vida Care, which has a drive-through testing facility near Dublin Airport, says it will faIl to private companies to carry out the tests.

CEO Conor Kelly says the Government has failed to assess how they’ll meet the surge in demand.

Vaccine …

Ireland South MEP Grace O’Sullivan’s been telling KCLR that this country will get its fair share of any vaccine that’s produced, with at least 2 million doses expected nationally.

It comes as the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says trials show its vaccine is 90% effective.

MEP O’Sullivan says the vaccine will be released on a staggered basis once it reaches Ireland.

On The Way It Is with Sue Nunn she added that the situation is being closely monitored by the EU.

Travel …

The loosening of restrictions on international travel is “very welcome news” for Irish people hoping to travel home for Christmas, according to one local travel agent.

It’s been announced that people travelling to Ireland from red-listed countries won’t have to self isolate for two weeks from the end of the month.

Cabinet Ministers have agreed that from midnight on the 29th of November, people will only have to restrict their movement for five days.

Kilkenny’s Des Manning has been telling KCLR that the industry have been calling for this update for some time.

He’s also warning that there’s still a risk of extended isolation for some jetsetters, despite the loosening of restrictions on international travel.

And he’s calling for clarity on the travel restrictions for those wishing to fly out of Ireland.

Cancer …

One in every six people who’ve died with Covid-19 here also had cancer.

Over 1,900 people have lost their lives in the Republic after testing positive for the virus.

93% had an underlying health condition.

According to the HSE, 44% had long-term heart disease.

Northern Ireland …

The Stormont Executive will meet again this afternoon to discuss extending Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland.

For the second night in a row a decision could not be reached.

A new plan under consideration would see hairdressers and beauty parlours reopen with restrictions, alongside cafes, while pubs and bars would be able to open as off-licenses.

Sgt Edward “Ted” Bear …

Meanwhile, to read about An Garda Siochána’s Sgt Edward “Ted” Bear’s Covid-19 advice click here