Ministers continue to consider the Level 5 recommendation

Senior ministers and officials today will continue their deliberations on how to respond to the recommendation by the National Public Health Emergency Team to introduce level 5 restrictions nationwide for six weeks.

A cabinet meeting is scheduled for tomorrow and it is expected that at that time a decision will be taken on what additional restrictions should be imposed.

The Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed 1,276 new cases of Covid-19 – the highest daily increase since the virus emerged.

The national incidence rate of 14 days per 100,000 population is currently 231. At the beginning of this month, that rate was just over 100.

Eight deaths have also been reported. Of those deaths, five occurred that month, while two occurred in September and one dated back to June.

The Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan yesterday briefed the three coalition party leaders, along with senior ministers, on the proposal to impose level 5 restrictions for six weeks.

The leader of the Greens, Eamon Ryan, later described the situation as “complex” with “so many different variables”.

“There is a lot to analyze,” he said. Mr Ryan said the government shared NPHET’s concerns considering the numbers and the increased incidence of the virus.

However, he said the government also needs to “balance a number of areas,” including the other impacts on society.

Sinn Féin Chair, Mary Lou McDonald, said on Twitter, “Jobs, livelihoods, and balanced lives. No direction, comment, or endorsement from the government. Not good enough.”

Asked if she would go to level 5 [if in government]She replied: “I would go wherever it is necessary to protect life and health.”

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