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Concern Coronavirus Ireland: Cases will rise again in two weeks, Stephen Donnelly says

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, he also said a third lockdown in the new year “cannot be ruled out”

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Daily coronavirus cases will begin going up again in two weeks, according to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, he also said a third lockdown in the new year “cannot be ruled out”.

In the meantime, Nphet expects to see daily case numbers fall for the next week or two and predicts that an increase will follow.

““What we expect to see and indeed what Nphet expects to see is the number of cases will continue to fall for at least another week and potentially another two weeks,” said Minister Donnelly.

“I then expect to see and indeed Nphet expects to see the cases beginning to go up again.”

He said that there are no “intention or suggestion” from Nphet or Government to increase restrictions before January if cases begin to spike, however, consideration may be given to restrictions being put in place again if there is a very large jump in numbers.

“There is no intention or any suggestion from either Nphet or Government that restrictions will be reimposed this year,” he said.

“Those kind of considerations will always be kept under review both by Government and Nphet.

“If something very serious happened, if we saw a huge increase in cases, if we saw uncontrolled events happening all over the place, obviously government would keep that under consideration.”

He said that a “very, very quick” jump is not expected in December.

“What we do not expect to see is this very, very quick exponential rise.

“However, if it does happen, of course government will consider measures,” Minister Donnelly added.

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He also said that a third lockdown in January cannot be ruled out and that opening up of bars leads to “superspreader events”.

“You can never rule anything out but what we do know is that there are some serious restrictions in place.

“The opening up and bars and in particular when it is done in conjunction with celebrations, unfortunately does lead to these superspreader events.

“About 10pc of these events account for about 80pc of these cases,” he added.

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