Ireland Varadkar says Ireland would need exit strategy if it...

Varadkar says Ireland would need exit strategy if it moves to Level 5

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Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said if Ireland moves to Level 5 of Covid-19 restrictions people will demand an exit strategy like they have in Germany.

According to the Irish Times, Mr Varadkar told party colleagues yesterday that in order for the State to go to Level 4 or 5, he would need to be convinced it is the right thing to do.

He said he did not want to be rushed into making a decision on a Covid-19 lockdown until it was completely necessary to do so.

In Germany, the public receive detailed information on the specific measures that need to be taken to allow the region to go to a lower level.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan warned last night that Covid-19 was “not in control” and that the trajectory of the disease was rapidly deteriorating.

Public health officials have written to the Government to make further recommendations following a significant increase in infection levels.

Dr Holohan said case numbers had nearly doubled and the number of hospitalised patients was growing faster than the exponential growth models predicted.

There are currently 238 people in hospital with the virus at the moment and a further 29 people in ICU.

The scale of infection at present is now beyond the capacity of any level of resourced contact tracing process, Dr Holohan admitted at the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) briefing last night.

Existing trends

With widespread community transmission it was no longer possible to “make the links” for a large portion of cases.

With the disease no longer under control, Nphet was recommending measures focused on the whole population.

If existing trends continue, there will be up to 2,500 cases a day by the end of this month, along with 400 people in hospital and up to 110 in ICU, officials are forecasting.

Last night, the Department of Health announced a further three Covid-19 related deaths in the Republic of Ireland, along with 1,205 additional confirmed cases of the virus.

It brought the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland to 1,838.

288 of the cases yesterday were in Dublin, 173 Cork, 123 in Meath, 97 in Galway 63 in Cavan and the remaining 461 cases were spread across all remaining counties.

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