The National Public Health Emergency Team has held an unscheduled meeting to discuss the ongoing rise in Covid-19 cases.
he public health officials met on Sunday, chaired by chief medical officer Tony Holohan, as the number of cases continues to rise.
It comes as a total of 364 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Ireland by NPHET.
Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team
There have been no new deaths reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre @hpscireland today.
There has now been a total of 1,810 #COVID19 related deaths in Ireland.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) October 4, 2020
There were no new deaths associated with the virus.
As of 8am on Sunday, 134 people with Covid-19 were in hospital and 21 people were in ICU beds.
More than 600 new cases of the virus were confirmed on Saturday, the highest daily figure in more than five months.
The meeting raises the possibility that a further tightening of restrictions could be recommended by the team to the Government.
Any recommendations would need to go to Cabinet for approval.
The move coincides with the head of health protection at the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland warning that a circuit-breaker lockdown there was “almost inevitable” if Covid-19 cases continue to increase.
Dr Gerry Waldron described the rise in the infection rate in the region as worrying.
Earlier, the leader of the Green Party said there had been no discussion in the Irish Government about a nationwide lockdown, rather it wanted to work on a county-by-county basis.
Instead he believed Dublin and Donegal could avoid moving to level four restrictions if people follow Covid-19 public health guidelines.
Eamon Ryan also said he believed the rest of the country could avoid being placed in level three restrictions if the public adhered to the Government’s measures.
Itâs vital to keep connected – but to socialise safely with #COVID19, we have to do things differently to protect ourselves and loved ones.
â Keep groups small & regular
â Make a plan to prioritise and reduce your social contacts
â Meet outside if possible
â Keep 2m distance pic.twitter.com/u3ikMa0wYP
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) September 30, 2020
“What we’re seeking to do here is not to eradicate the virus, I don’t think that’s going to be a viable option, but to stabilise it,” he told RTE’s The Week in Politics.
“I think that there is real concern when you look at other counties – it is rising very fast. We need to do the simple things, reduce the number of people we meet, avoid social contact.
“If we all do that we can avoid going to level four, other counties can avoid going to level three and I hope that Dublin can get back to level two, and Donegal too.”
He added that he believed it was possible that the infection rate could be stabilised, but he admitted that everyone was “fearful” when the daily numbers continue to rise.
Mr Ryan also said that if counties moved to level four restrictions, the schools would stay open.
“I think, no matter what, I think the Government is committed, that it is important,” he said.
He added: “The international evidence is that it can be done safely and I think our schools have done a good job in terms of making it safe for our students.”
Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said on Friday that the numbers reported over the past week represented a significant escalation in the profile of Covid-19 in Ireland.
People of all ages, in particular those over the age of 70 and those medically vulnerable, were advised to limit their social contacts to a small core group for short periods of time, while remaining socially distanced.