Ireland faces 2,500 cases a day & 400 people in hospital with Covid-19 by Halloween if people don't follow rules

Ireland faces 2,500 cases a day & 400 people in hospital with Covid-19 by Halloween if people don't follow rules

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has warned that the country could face up to 2,500 cases of Covid-19 per day by Halloween if restrictions don't improve the situation.

They've also warned that more than 400 people could be admitted to hospital with the virus before the end of the month.

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, revealed some worrying figures at a briefing at the Department of Health on Thursday evening.

"Modelling shows that if current trends continue, by October 31 the number of cases notified daily would be in the range of 1,800-2,500 cases with over 400 people in hospital," Prof. Nolan said.

"The case numbers are growing exponentially across the country, and we're concerned that growth is actually accelerating," he added.

"The growth rate is 5% to 6% per day. The estimation was 4%-5% per day, with exponential growth and small changes, in 12 to 14 days, for the country as a whole. We estimate reproduction and hospitalisations increasing exponentially."

He added that hospitalisation figures are "increasing exponentially, in fact, increasing exponentially faster than we projected 14 days ago".

Chair of NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (IEMAG) Professor Philip Nolan, at the delivery of Thursday evening's Covid-19 update in the Department of Health.

It comes just a day after border counties moved into Level Four of the Covid plan amid concerning rates of coronavirus.

It's understood that NPHET advised the Government to move the entire country to Level Five of the Covid plan last night for six weeks in order to slow the spread of the virus.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan urged the Irish people to "act" in order to prevent the virus from getting out of hand.

"Ultimately, it's our individual behaviours - in our houses, in our social settings, at work, our adherence to all of the public health advice - that determines whether any given Level is successful," he said.

"Whatever people have been doing… we're urging people to act - now's the time for people to act, to take their individual responsibility.

"Cut out, as much as people can, non-essential social contact… Socialising, visiting other people's houses, going for play dates or facilitating all of those kinds of activities - now is not the time for them."