*Photograph: Joe Buckley
Five new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Co Clare as the positivity rate in the Republic of Ireland drops to 2.7 percent.
On Monday evening, the Department of Health announced 306 new cases across the country. 108 are in Dublin, 30 in Limerick, 22 in Galway, 17 in Donegal, 15 in Wicklow, 14 in Cork and the remaining 100 cases are spread across 18 other counties including 5 in Co Clare.
Over the past 14 days there have been 61 cases of Coronavirus for Co Clare. The latest update showed an increase of five while the 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population is at 51.3 in the county compared with a national rate of 89.2.
An additional death has been alerted to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Since March, 2,053 persons have died from the virus in the country.
Less than 2,000 cases have been diagnosed in the Republic of Ireland over the past seven days. “Slightly fewer” cases have been observed in the past seven days compared with the preceding seven days, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan stated. The positivity rate is presently 2.7 percent with test positivity now at 2.8 percent.
Speaking at Monday’s press briefing, Dr Holohan said that “a significant divergence” has been observed between the experience of the virus in the Republic of Ireland the rest of Europe. He maintained that had they followed a European approach, up to 40 daily deaths would be recorded in Ireland.
Latest estimations from the National Public Health Emergency Team indicate that the reproductive number is now between 0.7 and 1.
Regarding a vaccine, Dr Holohan noted there had been a positive meeting with the COVID-19 vaccine taskforce. A report is to be issued to the Government by December 11th, he said.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn advised that if individuals were planning on meeting elderly relatives or loved ones over Christmas, they should not be meeting up with friends as restrictions ease. He warned that a high level of social interaction before Christmas would have a major impact.