A further nine people have died to COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland, the Department of Health confirmed on Thursday.
Eight of the nine are classified as late notifications of fatalities which occurred in April, May and June.
An additional seven cases have been recorded.
Thursday’s figures follow confirmation that the Government’s Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is to be extended until 2021.
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Two weeks ago, we expressed our concerns about worrying trends in the progression of COVID-19 in Ireland. Collectively, people in Ireland responded to this call for action and together have broken chains of transmission. This is a further demonstration of the power of people working together and rising to the continued challenge of this unprecedented pandemic. What we need now is to hold firm and keep up the good work.”
“I believe we can maintain the important progress we have made together, but only if we continue to heed the public health advice - physical distance of 2m between one another, frequent hand washing, wearing a face covering where appropriate and cough/sneeze hygiene.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “That the R value has decreased is welcome news. However, it is tempered by the fact that this novel virus is still with us, and it only needs our complacency to spread widely once again as it wants to do. This is a long game. As we head into the weekend and beyond, we must continue to remain vigilant in order to keep this progress up.”
Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said: “The resumption of non-COVID-19 healthcare services is, and always will be, a top priority. The greatest enabler of this will be our ability to keep community transmission at a low level. We can all play our part in ensuring our hospitals and care settings resume their vital work by following public health advice. Every small, individual action as you go about your day – keeping your distance, washing your hands, wearing a face covering – is an act of solidarity with frontline healthcare workers who want to see and treat patients.”