How long NPHET wanted the level 5 lockout to last when...

The number of Covid-19 cases across the country continues to rise. A worrying 1,800 infections were recorded over the weekend.

The biggest surge in new cases came just a week after Dr. Tony Holohan and the National Public Health Emergency Team had recommended moving the country to a full level 5 lockdown.

The government decided instead to subject the nation to less stringent Level 3 measures, which it believes can help fight the spread of the virus.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin and Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly are both opposed to a return to lockdown and instead see that option as a last resort.

This is primarily due to the harrowing effect such restrictions would have on the economy and put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly arrives for a cabinet meeting in the government buildings in Dublin
(Bild: Niall Carson / PA Wire)

But of course, as cases continue to worsen, speculation has increased that Ireland may need to put in place a “breaker” to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The National Public Health Emergency will meet again in the coming days to discuss the deteriorating situation.

What did NPHET fully recommend last time?

In his letter to Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan told the nation to switch to level 5 for four weeks.

In a sharp warning, he explained how the country “must act now” to bring the reproduction rate back below 1.0 before the winter months.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health, Professor Philip Nolan, Chairman of the Irish Advisory Group on Epidemiological Modeling at NPHET, and Dr. Siobhán Ni Bhriain, Consulting Psychiatrist and HSE Integrated Care Lead
(Bild: Colin Keegan / Collins)

He wrote: “Over the past few months, NPHET has been continuously reviewing and updating its recommendations based on the epidemiological status of the disease, weighing three core priorities: protecting the most vulnerable, continuing to resume non-covid and social health care services, and the need to protect the ongoing provision of education and childcare.

“The NPHET suggests that it is important that we do everything in our power now halt the current trajectory at the national level and suppress the virus to lower transmission again before the winter months.

“The national picture of disease is now the main concern of NPHET. The measures currently being taken do not adequately control the disease, as evidenced by the high volume of community transmission and the continued increase in key indicators …

In view of the foregoing, the NPHET believes that proactive and robust measures must now be taken to achieve very significant disease suppression with reproductive numbers well below 1.0.

“It is therefore recommended that the government apply Level 5 measures nationwide for a period of four weeks starting at midnight Monday, October 5th.”

What is the government saying?

Taoiseach Micheal Martin
(Image: RTE)

On Sunday the Taoiseach said that Level 3 “can work,” pointing out that the numbers in Dublin have stabilized since the measures were introduced.

He told RTE News: “In a lockdown situation, poorer people are worse off, people on the edge are worse off, the WHO has made this very clear.

“And a lot of people would lose their jobs and there would be a lot of fear and stress.

“I am very aware of this and that is why we moved to level three to give people an opportunity and to tell people whether we are working together on whether our behavior can change, whether we can all pretend we have that. ”Virus, then we have the opportunity to reduce the spread of this virus.

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“And that is the challenge for all of us in the coming days.

“There are some appearances in Dublin, for example that Level 3 has slowed the growth of the virus and contained it, but we will see more numbers on this in the next few days.”

Regarding when another lockdown could be considered, he continued, “We will be constantly monitoring this. And we will certainly check this again towards the end of the week, we will conduct a brief observation. ”

Mr. Martin also downplayed the idea of ​​a short “breaker” lockout.

He added, “This is an experimental concept. We created a phased plan not long ago to give people an expectation of what was to come.

“In my opinion, a circuit breaker is experimental. I am not convinced that such a step would be a temporary step and I think we need to clarify this with people. ”

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