Irish well being chief involved about surprising surge in COVID-19 instances
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Dublin
DUBLIN (Reuters) – An unexpected 10% rise in the five-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in Ireland threatens to reverse the recent sharp decline in the incidence rate of the disease to the third lowest level in Europe, the country's Chief Medical Officer said on Saturday.
Ireland was one of the first European countries to take tough nationwide measures again last month to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. Travel restrictions and the closure of unnecessary retail stores have more than halved the 14-day infection rate to 130 cases per 100,000 people.
The number of people infected with COVID-19 by someone – the so-called R rate – also fell by more than half to 0.6 in the past month, prompting health officials to predict as early as Thursday that the Cases were on track to drop below 100 per case day after day the restrictions will end on December 1st.
However, infections have risen since then, and the five-day moving average rose from 354 to 392 after the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) reported 456 new cases on Saturday.
"We have seen higher than expected numbers in the past few days due to the encouraging trends over the past three weeks," Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said in a statement. "We are concerned that this progress is at risk. NPHET will continue to monitor the situation closely in the coming days."
Hospital admissions of COVID-19 cases have continued to decline, hitting a nearly a month-long low of 254 on Saturday after falling well below the nearly 900 high in April during the second wave of infections in Ireland.
The rapid decline in cases from a daily record of nearly 1,300 on October 18 led the government to believe last week that restrictions would be eased on schedule in two and a half weeks, and possibly just before Christmas.
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