The penny drops on face masks

E=Mask Squared. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar leading by example. photo


By Anthony Neeson

People are being urged to wear face masks in Ireland when social distancing is not possible.

Launching the campaign this week Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said face masks are being recommended on public transport, shops or when meeting someone who is cocooning.

“Our message is simple; if you are in situations where social distancing is difficult, such as on public transport or in shops, please wear a face covering,” the taoiseach said.

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“It’s also a good idea to wear one when you are visiting someone who is vulnerable to the virus. In this way, we can help to reduce the spread of the virus, which is more important than ever as our country continues to reopen.”

People are being warned that the face covering recommendations are additional to other guidelines including washing hands and the two meter social distancing rule. From this week the use of face coverings became mandatory on public transport in England.

Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris said wearing a face covering will help protect people around you.

“It is not a magic shield, but it is an additional measure aimed at stopping the spread of this virus. We are strongly encouraging people on public transport to use them, in shops and supermarkets.”

No additional deaths of people with Covid-19 were reported on Monday evening for the previous 24-hours. Although there were 18 new cases of the virus, significantly, there have been no admissions to an ICU since June 9.

The total number of deaths associated with Covid-19 in the Republic stands at 1,706.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health said: “An analysis of cases reported in the last fourteen days tells us that the number of daily cases remains on a downward trend. This combined with hospitalization and ICU trends indicates that the behaviors adopted by the general public continue to suppress the disease in the community.”

In Northern Ireland there were no recorded new deaths from Coronavirus on Monday. The total number of deaths, mainly in hospital settings, stands at 541. There were four confirmed new cases on Monday.