1.7 million people in Ireland are voluntarily wearing masks in public spaces
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1.7 million people in Ireland are voluntarily wearing masks in public spaces

AN ESTIMATED 1.7 million people in Ireland are now wearing face masks or coverings when in public spaces, new data from the Department of Health has shown.

In what is a 6% rise from the same survey undertaken last week, 300,000 more people have begun wearing face coverings in public in order to protect themselves and others from the potential transmission of the coronavirus.

The new figures come after a campaign from the Govenrment and health experts which urges people to use face coverings while doing their shopping or other essential business, as well as when visiting people-- particularly the vulnerable-- in their homes.

While face coverings are not mandatory, more and more people have been taking it upon themselves to wear them when out and about, thanks in part to a Government campaign educating people on the positive effects.

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Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Flynn said the fact that a third of the population are wearing face coverings is encouraging, the numbers must continue to go up.

"Based on our research to date, almost 1.7 million people are now reporting wearing face coverings in public places," Dr Glynn said.

"This is an increase of 6% or almost 300,000 people in a week and shows that the message is getting across.”

“We know, obviously, 34% isn’t where we want to be,” he continued.

“28% wasn’t where we want to be, but we’re going in the right direction."

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Ireland's efforts to stop the virus appear to be working, as following more than two weeks of significantly low numbers, the Republic yesterday confirmed there had been no deaths from coronavirus in a 24 hour period, and just 18 new cases.