Ireland's R number falls to between 0.7 and 1.4
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Ireland's R number falls to between 0.7 and 1.4

IRELAND’S R number has fallen to somewhere between 0.7 and 1.4, according to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly. 

Mr Donnelly has tempered the positive news with a warning that many public health officials are predicting a “second surge” of Covid-19 cases based on evidence from around the world. 

He estimates that Ireland’s R number currently sits at somewhere around 1.1. 

That represents a significant decline on the figures reported last week, which had the R number at anywhere between 1.2 and 1.8. 

The R number refers to the rate at which coronavirus spreads from one infected individual to another. 

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For example, an R number of 1 indicates that, on average, an infected person will spread it on to one other person on average. 

Speaking in the Dáil, Donnelly stressed the importance of ensuring Ireland is prepared for any further waves of the virus – starting with preparations at nursing homes. 

"The public health officials are saying based on how they are seeing this disease work around the world, they are saying we are going to have a second surge," he said. 

“We are hoping it will be low, we are hoping it might be localised geographically, but we have to be prepared within particular communities, particular counties, particular cities for the prevalence rate to go up.” 

While the health minister expressed his gratitude to the people of Ireland for adhering to the public health advice, he urged people everywhere to stay the course.  

"The solution to this, it doesn’t lie here in the Oireachtas," he said. 

"Really the solution to this lies with every single one of us."

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