Dublin a ‘disease reservoir’ for Covid-19, NPHET warned Government

Dublin is a “disease reservoir” for Covid-19 which threatens the whole country, the acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn has warned.

Dr Glynn suggested that if left unchecked cases could rise in the capital to up to 300 per day by the end of September.

Currently cases are rising by 4 per cent per day and the R0 reproduction number at 1.4 signals the spread of the disease is accelerating.

In his advice to Government last week, Dr Glynn said Covid-19 infections in Dublin have the “potential to transmit widely and quickly both within Dublin and to other areas of the country”.

However, he stopped short of suggesting that Dublin should move to Level 3 of the Government’s five-level Living with Covid-19 plan as has been suggested by some members of the Cabinet. The county was put at Level 2 yesterday but with some additional restrictions added on.

He said this was because most cases in Dublin were concentrated in young people, meaning the rates of hospitalisations are low and deaths have stabilised.

However, Dr Glynn, on behalf of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), did advise that additional measures were essential to contain transmission and bring the disease under control in Dublin.

‘Stabilisation’

Dr Glynn suggested that so-called “wet pubs” should not open on September 21st and should only open when there has been “at least two weeks of stabilisation in the disease trajectory”. He recommended that Dublin should not be allowed to have up to 200 people at a match, depending on the size of the venue, unlike the rest of the country, which is at level 2.

In its roadmap published on Tuesday, the Government adopted all the measures as outlined by NPHET including a recommendation, though it is not mandatory, that people living in Dublin should not travel outside the county.