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Coronavirus Ireland: Holohan sees 'worrying trend' with new clusters confirmed as Ireland reopens

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Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan during a briefing in the Government Buildings in Dublin (Julien Behal/PA)

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan during a briefing in the Government Buildings in Dublin (Julien Behal/PA)

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan during a briefing in the Government Buildings in Dublin (Julien Behal/PA)

No further deaths and 24 new coronavirus cases are being reported by Nphet this evening amid warnings of a “new worrying trend”.

There is now a total of 25,462 cases in the country and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan has warned of new clusters and reported cases increasing.

“We are starting to see a worrying trend, with the number of reported cases increasing, and some new clusters.

“As restrictions are lifted and people move about more, it’s important that we use the tools that have helped us suppress the virus to date,” he said.

He said that hand washing and social distancing are just a few of the “important personal behaviours”.

“Hand washing, physical distancing, cough/sneeze hygiene and wearing face coverings are important personal behaviours that mean, as we go about our daily lives, that we are doing everything we can to avoid contracting the virus and spreading it to those we love.”

Dr Ronan Glynn warned that the risk of imported cases is still high.

“Today we are reporting at least six cases associated with international travel. Many countries around the world are still experiencing high and increasing levels of this disease. Last week, there were over 1.1 million cases reported and there have now been over 10 million cases reported globally to date.

“The risk of imported cases remains high. It’s important that [we] continue to avoid all unnecessary travel at this time,” he added.

Department of health research of 2,000 people shows that 45pc of people report wearing face coverings.

53pc of women and 36pc of men self-reported to wearing face coverings, with 49pc believing that “the worst is behind us” and 23pc thinking it is still to come.

A quarter of people believe there is a need for more restrictions, over a third think that we are returning to “normal too fast” and 64pc still believe we will see a second wave.

However, as the wearing of face coverings on public transport becomes mandatory today, the National Rail and Bus Union (NBRU) has warned that most passengers are not wearing coverings.

General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said that it should not be up to bus drivers to enforce the wearing of face coverings.

“To add the potential for confrontation and conflict between staff and passengers could possibly run the risk of compromising the safe operation of our transport services.”

“The 'finger on the pulse' knowledge of frontline staff has been glaringly missing from the mix of providing transport and applying the necessary measures required to instil confidence to enable commuters to return to our buses, trains and trams," he said.

He added that "11th hour" decisions made by the National Transport Authority (NTA) mean that they are made with no "appreciable implementation policies".

"We have been corresponding on an almost weekly basis with the NTA and operating companies in relation to a number of measures, not least the compulsory wearing of face coverings.

"Unfortunately, rather than early and proactive consultation we are witnessing 11th hour decisions being made with no appreciable implementation procedures or systems in place," he added.

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