A SECOND WAVE of Covid-19 cannot be ruled out in Ireland just yet, according to acting chief medical officer Ronan Glynn.
Speaking at the press briefing on Monday night for the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), Dr Glynn said that a second wave of cases is still a very real possibility, and intimated that stricter lockdown measures could be introduced to prevent that from happening.
"We can’t rule out a second wave here in this country, we can’t rule out an increase in cases," said Dr Glynn.
"All we can do is respond quickly, robustly, decisively where we see an issue arising. We have a real opportunity to continue functioning in a relatively normal society.
"Where we’ve gotten back to is relatively a good place. To maintain that, we need to keep the disease where it is now. We need people to come forward quickly if they have symptoms."
According to new research from the Department of Health, the majority of Irish people believe that there will be a second wave later on this year despite low case numbers.
The country was due to move into Phase Four of the reopening plan on Monday, but due to a recent small but noticeable rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, the date was pushed back to August 10 at the earliest.
Despite this, the Department of Health announced that Monday saw no new coronavirus-related deaths and just six new cases.
But a number of recent clusters and outbreaks had been linked to people returning to their jobs, and Dr Glynn warned that the people of Ireland mustn't let their focus drop in the battle to stop the spread.
"I would remind all employers that the workplace and most particularly, shops, services and supermarkets, are the new frontline, we are asking you to do everything you can to put the safety of your staff and customers first," he said.
"With the increase in outbreaks in our communities, I would urge everyone to wear face coverings in healthcare settings and when shopping, including in the supermarket and other indoor retail services."