No large gatherings for at least six months predicts deputy CMO

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People will have to avoid crowded areas for at least the next six months according to the deputy chief medical officer.

No new deaths were reported last night – the first time that has happened since December 21st, while 821 new cases were detected.

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In public hospitals overnight there were 849 people with the virus, which is below the peak of the first wave for the first time since early January.

Last night 158 people with Covid-19 were in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) around the country.

Speaking at last night’s briefing by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), Dr Ronan Glynn said some significant restrictions will have to remain in place for the foreseeable future to continue to drive down cases.

“Over the coming months, what we will want everybody to do is when they are out and about and interacting, to do so safely.

“I don’t see a scenario where we are not asking people to wear face masks, to keep physical distance, to avoid crowds, to avoid poorly ventilated spaces over the next six months.”

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Dr Glynn added the prospect of allowing people who are vaccinated to re-engage with society is under “active review” but it will be a few weeks before advice is given.

“Right now, we have to wait for every one in those [healthcare] facilities, that want to be vaccinated, to be vaccinated.

“I know uptake has been very close to 100 per cent in those facilities, but we are not there yet, we have another few weeks to go,” he said.

“They need to be vaccinated, and we need to wait between 7-14 days for them to achieve full protection, and on top of that, we need to really see where we go with the disease more broadly,” Dr Glynn added.

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