NPHET recommends Level 5 shutdown for Ireland for six weeks

Reports are emerging today that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended that the government impose Level 5 lockdown on the entire country for six weeks.

The reports have been published across a range of national media outlets this lunchtime.

It's understood there are no plans for an immediate cabinet meeting - and it may be Monday before a clear perspective emerges on what the government's approach to the recommendation will be.

Traditionally, the government has adopted most of NPHET's advice, with the notable exception of the recommendation a number of weeks ago that the entire country move to Level 5.

The new recommendation comes as latest figures show two successive record high numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Critics have argued that the rate of hospitalistion and deaths arising from the virus are not near the levels associated with the previous height of the pandemic in April and May.

However, last night, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said that modelling shows that if current trends continue, by October 31, the number of cases notified daily would be in the range of 1,800 – 2,500 cases with over 400 people in hospital.

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