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“Ambitious but cautious”: NPHET advises people to remain cautious as government eased restrictions

DUBLIN: Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan said the easing of restrictions was a welcome and worthwhile step in our collective efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, the government announced that Level 5 restrictions in Ireland will be eased from May 4. Dr. Holohan said that “now is the right time for us to move on” but advised to remain cautious. During the NPHET briefing yesterday evening, the CMO described the easing of restrictions as “ambitious but cautious”.

The deputy CMO Dr. Ronan Glynn said the virus remains a threat and it is important to stay alerts and “not drop your guard over the coming weeks”. “This is especially true for those who have yet to be vaccinated or are particularly vulnerable,” he added.

“The important thing to do as society reopens is to continue to risk assess your choices and your environment. Just because something is an option, doesn’t always mean it’s safe. Crowded places and enclosed spaces still carry a risk. If you don’t feel comfortable, or feel a place is too crowded, leave,” Dr. Glynn warned.

Four deaths and 545 new cases

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has confirmed 545 new COVID-19 cases in Ireland yesterday. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 248,870.

The NPHET also confirmed that four further deaths had been recorded in the country, bringing the death toll from COVID-19 to 4,903.

Of the cases confirmed yesterday, 294 were men and 244 were women. 77% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 29.

264 of the new cases are in Dublin, 58 in Kildare, 50 in Cork, 29 in Donegal, 28 in Galway and the remaining 116 cases are spread across 21 other counties.

Dr. Holohan said that the national incidence rate is 125 per 100,000, but Donegal currently has a rate of 295 per 100,000 people. “This is extremely concerning for public health doctors locally,” he said.

As of yesterday morning, 139 COVID-19 patients were hospitalised, with 44 in ICU. 

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