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The contact tracing system still isn’t strong enough to avoid another shutdown in the New Year according to Professor Anthony Staines

Ireland's had one more death & 378 new Covid-19 cases announced, up to nine of them in Carlow and Kilkenny

The Chief Medical Officer says a recent rise in the number of Covid-19 cases is a worrying development.

One further patient died and 378 more infections were confirmed, five of them in Kilkenny with up to four in Carlow.

The estimated national 14-day incidence rate of the disease is now at 127, which is at its lowest point since October 8th. Kilkenny’s is above that at 130 after 129 positive tests in the fortnight to Saturday while Carlow’s had 53 for the same period, bringing its rate to 93.1.

Dr Tony Holohan has warned people not to ignore public health messages about socialising after a video emerged over the weekend of large crowds on a Dublin street.

However, Professor Anthony Staines from DCU says the contact tracing system still isn’t strong enough to avoid another shutdown in the New Year.

Meanwhile, a member of NPHET says he doesn’t expect issues with the rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

It follows concern administering the new Pfizer BioNTech vaccine could be challenging in certain settings due to requirements it is kept at ultra cold temperatures.

Dr John Cuddihy says work is already underway to ensure a smooth distribution of the jab.

Travel …

Hundreds of people are expected to ignore government advice not to fly home for Christmas.

That’s despite warnings over the weekend that travel in the weeks ahead will be a ‘recipe for disaster’.

According to the Irish Times, 1,300 seats have already been booked with Ryanair and Aer Lingus on just two routes from London Airports in the days leading up to Christmas.

Elsewhere …

Boris Johnson is self-isolating after coming into contact with a person who has since tested positive for Covid-19.

Downing Street says the UK Prime Minister, who was admitted to intensive care with the disease in April, is “well” and does not have any symptoms.

But Sky’s political correspondent Nick Martin says he is self-isolating.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the United States has passed 11 million.

It’s the first country to pass the landmark with over 54 million infections worldwide according to Johns Hopkins University.

Over 1.3 million people have passed away after contracting the virus.

Meanwhile, almost 40% of Americans say they plan to have Thanksgiving Dinner with 10 or more people present.

A new survey from Ohio State University also found that a quarter will not be practicing social distancing.

The holiday comes on the last Thursday of November, amid a surge of Covid cases in the United States.

Texas and California are the Nation’s worst affected states for total case numbers..