Jordan Norris

Cases of COVID-19 have risen significantly in Waterford this week, with 99 cases confirmed in the county over the past seven days.

The incidence rate has risen by 46% from 99.8 to 145.5, with the national average now at 155.3. The county is the ninth worst affected in Ireland at present. 32 cases of the virus were confirmed on Sunday with 23 on Thursday.

There have been 26 more cases compared to last week. Waterford City South has seen a 22% increase in cases with the incidence rate at 191.3.

Waterford City South was the only local electoral area to have an incidence rate per 100,000 of population higher than that of the then national average.

The number of cases in Waterford City East has risen significantly – from 9 to 22, a 144% jump. There was a slight rise in cases in Tramore/Waterford City West, with 22 cases confirmed compared to 19 a week prior, a 16% rise.

There has been no change in numbers in Portlaw/Kilmacthomas with 8 cases confirmed in the past fortnight. Both Dungarvan and Lismore have seen a significant fall-off with cases in Dungarvan falling 57% from 21 down to 9. Lismore was one of the few areas in the country to record less than five cases for the second consecutive week.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has vowed not to speculate beyond what has already been mentioned on whether or not Level 5 COVID restrictions will continue after April 5th, or whether they will be relaxed at that point.

Mr. Martin responded to indications from Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn that restrictions may remain in place for the next few weeks, possibly into June.

“We do understand that people are fed up. I am not going to speculate, but we will give people clear indications in advance of April 5th as to how we see April panning out and I don’t believe in speculating beyond that.  The big concern remains with COVID variants, which are more transmissible and more deadly.”

Dr. Glynn apologised earlier this week after asking people to ‘do a little bit more’ in their efforts to suppress the spread of COVID-19. There was a strong reaction to the comments which Dr. Glynn noted were ‘taken out of context’.

At a NPHET briefing on Thursday evening, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer praised people for doing as much as they have done to reduce case numbers.

 “The message this evening has to be to ask everyone to focus on just doing that little bit more than you have been doing over the past week or two. Go back to where you were a fortnight or three weeks ago. If every individual can just do that little bit more, over the next few weeks, we will stop another wave and we will get to a point where we have a sufficient  proportion of the population vaccinated that we are beginning to see impacts like we are seeing internationally where countries are vaccinating more broadly at present.”