Public opinion has swung towards the government introducing more covid restrictions
As cases surge to almost 6,000 today, the head of NPHET’s expert advisory group says that Ireland cannot afford to continue as a country on this trajectory over the coming weeks.
Cillian de Gascun, who was speaking on RTE today, says that the situation is “very serious in many respects.”
The Department of Health has confirmed 5,959 new cases of Covid-19 this evening. There are 640 patients in hospital with Covid-19 and 121 are being treat in ICU – a figure up three from yesterday.
Dr de Gascun also explained that NPHET cannot exclude that possibility of lockdown if the number of contacts cannot be reduced.
Meanwhile, data from the ESRI’s Behavioural Research Unit has found that public opinion has swung hugely towards wanting the government to introduce rules and restrictions.
Professor Pete Lunn told Brendan O Connor’s RTE show that 48% of those asked in a study earlier this week if they would be in favour of more restrictions said yes, while 38% said no.
The new data also suggests that people are now most worried about the health service, as well as their family and friends.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it is ‘very worried’ about the spread of Covid-19 within Europe as the continent battles a fresh wave of infections.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr Hans Kluge said that 500,000 more deaths could be recorded by March unless urgent action is taken.
Both Austria and the Czech Republic announced a return of lockdowns from Monday, with Germany likely to follow suit.
The reintroduction of restrictions across Europe have ignited backlash with protests in Rotterdam overnight marching against Covid measures.
Under the Government’s latest guidelines, unless it is necessary to attend the workplace in person, everyone should return to working from home.
Cinemas and theatres will now need Covid-19 passes based on vaccination or recovery to be allowed entry, while closing time for licensed premises is now midnight.