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'Not time for a knee jerk reaction'- Acting Chief Medical Officer says spike in cases could be indication of good tracing

Yesterday saw 85 new cases of Covid-19 registered, the most since May 22.

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Dr Ronan Glynn. Picture: Collins

Dr Ronan Glynn. Picture: Collins

Dr Ronan Glynn. Picture: Collins

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said that the spike in cases yesterday may have just been a "blip" and a testament to "really good contact tracing".

Yesterday saw the highest daily number of Covid-19 cases since May 22 as 85 new cases were registered. A further death means there have been 1,763 deaths and 26,027 confirmed cases in Ireland.

While Dr Glynn admitted to being "concerned" last night, this morning he said that the figure could be an affirmation of a successful system of contact tracing.

"Any increase in cases like this is a cause for concern and we're watching it very closely but it's not time for a knee jerk reaction at this point," he told RTÉ Morning Ireland.

"We're hopeful that what we're seeing, in fact, is evidence that our contact tracing system is working really really well.

"This is a system that was always there for other infectious diseases but has been made much more robust over the past months. The aim of that system is to detect the cases in clusters very rapidly and the break chains of transmissions."

Mapped over the course of the pandemic, a trend in figures can be seen in the different days of the week. Thursday usually shows numbers higher than on the weekend and Monday, but lower than that of Tuesday when some weekend cases are usually registered.

Yesterday saw the most cases on a Thursday since May 21 and the 85 cases compared to 20 the previous week, 34 the week before that and 25 one week longer back.

Before that there were only around 10 cases for a month of Thursdays.

Dr Glynn said that he is hopeful Ireland is not heading in the same trajectory as many nations in Europe where the virus has has a second or third wave.

To avoid this "blip" turning into something more serious, he said, people must continue to follow guidelines stringently.

"The basic public health messages that we give to everyone do apply to everyone, regardless of the setting," he said.

"We've learned an awful lot over the past number of months about this disease, how to control it. We know how to deal with it, as a population we've learned how to live with it and I am hopeful that what is hopefully a blip last night will serve as a reminder to double down on efforts as we head into this weekend rather than be a signifier of something more significant like we're seeing across Europe.

"We all have within our own hands individually here in this country the power to protect ourselves and our loved ones. What will dictate the course of of this infection over the coming weeks and months is the actions of each and every person in our communities across the country.

Dr Glynn said that the Government are planning on issuing latest advise on the coarse of action to combat the virus next week.

"But for now we have to focus on the next 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours. We need to see whether this 85 cases leads to a further jump or if it's a blip. Hopefully it's a blip but next week is quite a distance off at this stage."

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