Varadkar Threatens Lockdown In Dublin!
After patriots rallied in the capital the Free State threatens a lockdown, they've gone so far as to blame Irish patriots for the increase in cases!
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said special measures will be needed to address the Covid-19 situation in Dublin, while it is likely that pubs that do not serve food will not open in the capital city next Monday.
The special Covid-19 Cabinet sub-committee met this afternoon to discuss the Government's medium term plan for living with the virus.
The final version will be agreed at a full Cabinet meeting before it is announced to the public tomorrow morning.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that living with the coronavirus will be normal for a considerable time.
The framework will set out five levels of the virus and related restrictions that will apply across the country for the next six to nine months.
Level one would involve the least amount of restrictions, but level five would be akin to the shutdown of last March.
Level three would be broadly similar to the restrictions imposed on Kildare, Laois and Offaly in August.
The current risk will be gauged at level two for the entire country, but things will be different in Dublin while it remains at level two overall.
Subject to Cabinet approval, this is expected to mean that pubs that do not serve food will not open in the city next Monday.
Up to six people will be able to visit another's home, but they must all come from a single household, compared to three households elsewhere in the country.
Travel restrictions underpinned by regulation are unlikely for Dublin, but there will likely be strong advice that people should work from home where possible and to try to avoid travelling outside the capital.
International travel will be governed by European Commission proposals in the medium term, but before that Ireland's Green List of safe travel countries is expected to be updated.
This is likely to focus on countries with incidence of under 25 per 100,000 along lines of the commission proposal. That could see Germany and Poland added to the Green List.
Meanwhile, up to 200 spectators are expected to attend sports matches from this week under the plan.
Earlier, Mr Varadkar said some regions and counties are going to see further restrictions arising from the increase of Covid-19 cases, but he said there was no question of closing schools or restricting travel for people from their homes like had been in force in March and April.
He described the situation in Dublin as "worrying" and said special measures will be needed to address the situation in the capital to ensure it does not head in the direction of other countries, such as Spain, with further incidence of the coronavirus and fatalities.
Speaking in Naas, Co Kildare, this afternoon, Mr Varadkar said the situation in Dublin was very different to everywhere else in the country.
He said the Cabinet would discuss issues, such as the pub closures, tomorrow.
However, he said the Government was not looking at a situation where people would be restrained in their homes in Dublin or any part of the country at the moment.
Mr Varadkar said a specific set of measures needed to be introduced for the capital.
SF says testing and tracing system not robust
Sinn Féin has claimed there are still cases where people are waiting up to seven days for a Covid-19 test.
The party's health spokesperson said the country's system for testing and tracing the virus is still not robust enough.
David Cullinane said it was extraordinary that the Government is planning to launch a medium term plan tomorrow to deal with Covid-19, but yet no time has been allocated in the Dáil to debate it.
His party colleague Louise O'Reilly said Dublin should not be considered one single area in any new restrictions aimed at curbing the virus.
The party has said that bars that do not serve food should be allowed to reopen as planned in Dublin on 21 September.
208 more cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Ireland today, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 31,192.
It is expected that the Government will adopt the National Public Health Emergency Team's recommendation further limiting visitors to homes in the capital.
That would mean only allowing six people from two households rather than three.
Tomorrow's plan is also set to provide for a return of spectators to matches, with 500 allowed at club level and 5,000 for a large stadium, such as Croke Park.
People should isolate immediately if they suspect Covid-19
The World Health Organization's special envoy on Covid-19, Dr David Nabarro, has said people who think they have symptoms of the virus, should isolate themselves immediately and not wait until they have taken a test or received a result.
Speaking on RTÉ's Six One programme, Dr Nabarro said people who have contracted Covid-19 are super infectious at the early stages and this is when they need to be staying away from others.
He said that what really matters is acting quickly on their suspicion of having the disease.
Elsewhere, gardaí are increasing high visibility patrols in Dublin as part of the efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Over the last week, 57% of the new coronavirus cases in the country occurred in Dublin.
To support the public health guidelines and regulations, Deputy Garda Commissioner for Policing and Security John Twomey said gardaí will be carrying out increased high visibility patrols - across the city and county - with a focus on social distancing, gatherings in large groups and compliance with the use of face coverings.
Ireland now has 45.4 cases of Covid-19 for every 100,000 people, the latest data from the European Centre for Disease Control shows.
It represents an increase on the figure of 41 yesterday.
The UK rate is 51.1. Spain has the highest rate of cases at 270.7. Latvia is lowest at 4.2.
There has been a small rise in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in hospital and in intensive care units in Ireland.
Latest figures from the Health Service Executive put the number of confirmed cases overnight in hospital at 57, with 10 of these in intensive care units.
It compares with 50 patients and six of these in ICU this day last week.
There are also 93 suspected Covid-19 cases in hospitals, with eight of these patients in intensive care units.
Overall, the hospital system has 59 vacant adult ICU beds and 439 vacant general beds.
The World Health Organization says data to date suggests 80% of Covid-19 infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical, requiring ventilation.
Generally, you need to be 15 minutes or more in the vicinity of an infected person and within two metres of them, to be considered at-risk, or a close contact.
Additional reporting Fergal Bowers and Sandra Hurley