'Concern' as coronavirus cases confirmed in Ireland from UK, Sweden visitors

'Concern' as coronavirus cases confirmed in Ireland from UK, Sweden visitors

THE NATIONAL Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has voiced it's concern as multiple newly confirmed coronavirus cases in Ireland were found in travellers from overseas.

In the past two weeks,  "fewer than 10" cases of Covid-19 have been identified in people who have travelled to Ireland from abroad, including from Sweden and the UK.

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the NPHET's Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, told the public at a press conference yesterday evening that there is a "little bit of a concern" about the increase in travel-related cases.

"Early in the epidemic ... we’re seeing a large number of travel-related cases," he said, and "just over the last two weeks we've begun to see a small number of travel-related cases, but it is a cause for concern nonetheless".

For a number of weeks now, Ireland's daily confirmed new cases have remained under 20, regularly recording less than 10 new cases each day, and Prof Nolan has stated "it's a small number of [travel-related] cases but a remarkable proportion of the very small number of cases that we have."

Two of the "fewer than 10" travel-related cases are from Sweden and the UK, according to Prof Philip Nolan

When asked the origin of the travel-related cases, Prof Nolan stated that two are confirmed to have come from the UK and Sweden "and we're following up on the rest".

Travel to Ireland from abroad is discouraged except for essential reasons, and Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan reiterated the advice at yesterday's press conference, stating:

"We’re advising people who are planning on coming here for travel-related purposes that are not essential, for tourist related activities for example, that now is not the time.”

"We won’t continue to have that advice for any longer than we think is absolutely necessary," he added, acknowledging that several European countries are reopening their borders to travellers from 1 July.

Anyone travelling into Ireland from abroad is now required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form, which states that the person "may be contacted during the 14 days after you arrive in Ireland to check that you are self isolating".

At yesterday's press briefing, a further 16 new cases were confirmed and the deaths were announced of a further four people.

The Republic of Ireland has 25,355 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 1,714 people reported to have died with the virus.