Minister Michael McGrath

  • The Public Expenditure Minister has indicated Level 5 restrictions will not be lifted at the end of this month.

    1,897 patients were in public hospitals last night with the virus, while nationally 209 people were in intensive care.

    93 deaths from Covid 19 were recorded yesterday, the highest figure to date.

    Michael McGrath says the figures are still too high for the restrictions to ease, but says the plan is for schools to reopen as planned on February 1st.

    An additional 2,001 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the Republic yesterday.

    That included 73 new cases in Galway, 62 in Mayo, 18 in Roscommon, 13 in Sligo and less than 5 in Leitrim.

    Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says we cannot afford to drop our guard against the very high levels of infection that remain in the community at present.

     Anyone who dismisses the seriousness of Covid 19 is talking 'nonsense' according to the head of the HSE.

    Paul Reid says people who aren't taking the restrictions seriously are 'insulting' hospital patients, healthcare workers and their families.

    Dr Jack Lambert, Consultant in Infectious Disease at the Mater Hospital, says everyone needs to take this virus seriously.

    GP Dr Ilona Duffy says it's time to go back to April style restrictions with only one person allowed go for essential shopping.

    She says it's abundantly clear that not enough people are respecting the lockdown.

     

  • A tiered re-opening of the country is the most likely outcome from decisions this week on how to exit level five.

    Cabinet Ministers met this morning but no decision was taken ahead of a second meeting on Thursday or Friday.

    It looks as though most retail will be allowed to open next week as the country enters a version of level three.

    Restaurants and pubs that serve food may have to wait a further week before being allowed to open.

    Speaking on his way into Cabinet, Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said he'd like to see the economy reopen as much as possible.