THERE HAS been good news in Ireland's fight against coronavirus as it was revealed that over 91% of people diagnosed with the virus have now recovered.
The Government is expected to approve plans to move into Phase 2 of easing the lockdown on Monday, 8 June as Ireland's efforts to slow the spread of the virus have had a proven positive effect.
The number of newly confirmed cases have been decreasing steadily, with daily cases being lower than 100 for almost two weeks.
On 25 May, the Republic of Ireland reported its first day with no coronavirus deaths since 18 March, with Northern Ireland reporting the same on 26 May.
While sadly this has not happened since, the number of new cases continue to drop, and earlier this week just ten newly confirmed cases were reported.
There have now been a total of 1,659 coronavirus-related deaths in Ireland, and 25,111 confirmed cases, but Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn confirmed yesterday that the recovery rate is now at 91%.
"Our recovery rate is now at 91%," he stated at a press briefing yesterday.
"This is positive news and confirms the expectation that most people who get COVID-19 will recover. However, it remains the case that this is an unpredictable virus, and the prognosis for any one individual diagnosed, regardless of their current health, remains uncertain."
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said today that he is confident Phase 2 will go ahead as planned on 8 June, with a confirmation of approval expected to take place tomorrow.
However, he said he is "concerned that this week, many people were calling for us to accelerate things and jump ahead before we even had the data from the last few days".
He added, "It is better to adopt a slow and steady approach than to go too far, too fast".
Phase 1 allowed the reopening of certain businesses such as DIY stores and garden centres, and stretched the travel restrictions from 2km to 5km.
Here's what the planned easing of restrictions in Phase 2 will look like:
- Travel restrictions eased to allow travel up to 20km from your home
- Up to four people can visit another household for a short period while maintaining social distancing inside
- Those cocooning can have visitors to their home for a short period of time while maintaining social distancing and visitors wearing protective gear such as face masks and gloves
- Small retail outlets can reopen with strict social distancing measures in place
- Marts can reopen where social distancing can be maintained
- Public libraries can reopen to limited numbers where social distancing can be maintained
- Some outdoor team training will resume where social distancing can be maintained
Phase 2 will continue for three weeks before Phase 3 is implemented on 29 June, depending on the continued low numbers of daily confirmed cases and deaths.