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NPHET opt not to recommend lockdown to Government but fears remain over Covid case numbers

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NPHET has made no firm lockdown recommendations to the Government this week.

Chief medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, and his panel of medical experts met for another crunch Covid meeting on Thursday evening.

But the team of top medics have decided to hold off on whether they will be advising the Government to lock down tighter.

They discussed a number of issues which could lead to more recommendations on tightening restrictions further being issued to Government, but this advice will not be issued until next week at the earliest.

And even then, that all depends on how the case numbers go, with fears that if they don’t drop significantly, that the country could be heading back into deeper lockdown before Christmas.

One of the proposals being discussed at the NPHET meeting was the potential directive to make children in primary school wear masks.

Another area that may be tweaked is hospitality, with the possibility that capacity in venues could be reduced to help with better social distancing.

Senior Government ministers will have time over the weekend to study the latest NPHET letter from Dr Holohan, which was delivered to Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, on Thursday evening.

Dr Tony Holohan has asked anyone who has plans to socialise in the next four weeks to do five specific things to help “drive down” Covid.

Thursday’s case number saw a sharp rise, with 4,674 new infections announced by the National Public Health Emergency Team.

While the number of patients in hospital fell overnight, the situation of the virus in Ireland is still seen as perilous.

To this extent, the Chief Medical Officer has said he is still “concerned” over the case numbers.



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