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Tribute paid to Ireland’s young people for ‘dramatic’ drop in Covid case numbers

Tony Holohan said the 19 to 24 year old age group has seen a reduction from 450 per 100,000 to 150 per 100,000 in two weeks.

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has publicly thanked Ireland’s young people for achieving a dramatic reduction in case numbers in recent weeks (Brian Lawless/PA)

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has publicly thanked Ireland’s young people for achieving a dramatic reduction in case numbers in recent weeks (Brian Lawless/PA)

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has publicly thanked Ireland’s young people for achieving a dramatic reduction in case numbers in recent weeks (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ireland’s young people should be commended for a “dramatic reduction” in numbers of coronavirus cases.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has publicly thanked 19 to 24 year olds for their efforts in driving down the spread of Covid-19.

He said that age group has seen a reduction in incidence rates from 450 per 100,000 to 150 per 100,000 in just two weeks.

“They have also halved their contacts in the past five weeks,” he said.

“We all need to recognise the efforts of our young people and I thank them.”

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) announced three further deaths of people with Covid-19 and 591 new cases of the virus on Thursday evening.

Of the latest cases, 120 were in Dublin, 75 in Donegal, 50 in Cork, 46 in Kerry, 44 in Limerick and the remaining 256 cases were spread across 20 other counties.

Dr Holohan also commended Ireland’s overall performance against the virus.

“A second surge is taking place across Europe. Ireland and Finland are the only European countries in the EU where reductions in 14-day incidence have been observed. All other countries are increasing,” he said.

“Level 5 efforts over the last two weeks have succeeded in further reducing community transmission and disease incidence in Ireland, however now is not the time to be complacent.

“We must keep driving down this disease – we must keep going.”

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Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (Brian Lawless/PA)

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (Brian Lawless/PA)

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (Brian Lawless/PA)

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the Nphet Irish epidemiological modelling advisory group, estimated the reproductive rate of the virus at between 0.7-0.9.

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“This is a testament to our collective effort to stop the spread of the virus and it is very good news.

“We may be doing better now but it is conditional on whether we keep it up. If we continue to use this time to drive the infection right down, we will be in a good position in four weeks time.”

In terms of the current coronavirus restrictions, there was no suggestion of a date for any relaxations.

Dr Holohan said: “We are not anticipating changing our advice in relation to the kinds of measures that are in place for the six weeks.

“But obviously we keep the whole situation under review.”

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