Health Minister thanks Irish public for 'doing so much to fight this virus' as R Number drops to one of lowest in Europe
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Health Minister thanks Irish public for 'doing so much to fight this virus' as R Number drops to one of lowest in Europe

MINISTER for Health Stephen Donnelly has extended his thanks to the Irish public after Ireland's 14-day Covid-19 incidence rate dropped to one of the lowest in Europe.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published the latest incidence rates for countries around the continent, and Ireland's is now among the very best.

Only Iceland, Cyprus, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Latvia, Estonia, Norway and Finland are currently faring better than Ireland.

"Thanks to huge efforts by individuals, families, community groups, clubs and businesses across the country, Ireland is now bucking the trend in Europe in terms of new cases of Covid," Mr Donnelly said in a tweet on Sunday.

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"I just want to say thank you to everyone for doing so much to fight this virus."

Despite the positive news, Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan warned that it is still "too early to ease our efforts".

"We are making progress in suppressing the current rise of Covid-19. Ireland is currently one of only four countries in the EU with a reduction in its 7-day incidence," he said.

"Nationally, our reproductive number has reduced to about 1.0.

"We are working collectively to achieve suppression, but it is too early to ease our efforts. The incidence is decreasing in young adults but it continues to rise in those aged over 75. We have more to do but we are on the right track."

Ireland is currently in the midst of a second full lockdown, due to run until December 1.

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NPHET will review the situation in two weeks' time, where restrictions could be extended, reduced or dropped altogether.