DUBLIN, Ireland - An increase in coronavirus cases in Ireland has health authorities taking notice, while overseas the disease is surging in many countries, particularly in the United States.
Irish health authorities say while group efforts have been largely successful in bringing the virus under control in Ireland, there are still risks elsewhere, and they are urging individuals to take responsibility.
The cautious tone of the latest commentary comes as five new deaths were reported in Ireland in the past 24 hours.
1,738 people have now died from coronavirus in Ireland, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 25,489.
The National Public Health Emergency Team met on Thursdayto review Ireland's ongoing response and preparedness to COVID-19.
"What has been a collective and effective national effort to suppress COVID-19 in Ireland, now also becomes an individual mission. Every person must risk assess their own environments, make appropriate decisions about where they will go and who they will meet, and how they can ensure their safety and the safety of those around them," Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at Ireland's Department of Health said Thursday. "Continue to follow public health advice, understand the risks of your actions and environments and stay safe."
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, added: "60% of all Covid-19 cases have been reported in the past month. The transmission of the virus is accelerating globally. In order to limit the potential for a resurgence of the disease in Ireland, we all must continue to follow public health advice and take responsibility for our individual actions."
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: "The reproductive number is now estimated to be closer to 1 than it has been in recent weeks. The R number is easily influenced by small changes to the transmission of the virus."
"We have noticed an increase in the number of cases towards the end of last week. It is a trend that NPHET will continue to monitor closely."
Dr. Vida Hamilton, National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead, Acute Operations, HSE said: "Due to the good practices of the public our ICU's were not overwhelmed. Although they were busy, every patient got the care they deserved. Some of us may have witnessed the reality of the frontlines in our hospitals on recent television documentaries. We should not lose sight of what is at risk and how fragile our systems are in the face of this pandemic. Please continue to follow public health advice."