Major concern has been expressed about the pattern of COVID-19 cases occurring in Dublin.
While the reproduction number of the virus for Ireland as a whole is close to 1.0, in Dublin, it has risen to around 1.4.
"We are seeing increasing case numbers in Dublin, growing close to 5% per day. If this were to continue, the number of cases would double every 14 days.
"Given the size of Dublin's population, it is essential we prevent any further spread now by limiting our social contacts and taking precautions during any essential contacts," commented Prof Philip Nolan, chair of NPHET's Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group.
According to acting chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, the pattern of cases nationwide, but particularly in Dublin, is concerning.
"Transmission is diffuse across the county, is in all age groups, and is mainly being driven by social interaction within and between households," he noted.
He called for family gatherings that involve multiple people from different households, such as communions and christenings, to be stopped for the next few weeks "it at all possible".
Meanwhile, according to Dr Colm Henry, chief clinical officer with the HSE, the greatest risk of transmission to school children "is in the home setting".
"International experience reveals that reopening of schools has not been associated with significantly increasing community transmission. Instead, it is transmission of the virus within communities that poses the greatest threat to schools.
"Again, we urge all households to think through their social plans - to keep within the six indoor/ 15 outdoor person gathering limits and apply physical distancing in all settings," Dr Henry said.
As of September 9, there have been 30,164 confirmed cases of the virus in the Republic and 1,781 deaths.
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