Local cases remain low as new lockdown looms

The HSE has called on the people of Roscommon to think carefully about the number of people they see in the run-up to Christmas Day as the county reported six new cases of Covid-19 yesterday (Wednesday).

Dr. Breda Smyth, Director of Public Health in the West, said it was “vitally important” for people to limit their interactions ahead of the Christmas period as 727 new cases of the disease were confirmed as of midnight on Sunday

“The latest national data highlights that the number of cases is increasing more rapidly than had been anticipated. This increase in cases is particularly worrying in the context of inter-generational mixing over the Christmas period.

“If you take a risk today, tomorrow, or over the next few days, then you are putting anyone you see over the Christmas at risk. Think about the impact that being diagnosed with Covid-19 would have on those close to you,” Dr. Smyth said.

Meanwhile, the President of Roscommon Chamber, Brendan Allen, said health and wellbeing would always be the number one priority but there was growing frustration among the business community.

“There have been mixed messages around the opening up of the hospitality sector in particular. Restaurants and some pubs were reopened ahead of Christmas but within a couple of days the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tony Holohan, was telling people not to visit them.

“Health is the priority as always and with cases rising we have to lockdown again, but the business community can’t cope for much longer.

“There are a number of shops such as clothes shops, gift shops, etc. that are not high risk in terms of transmission (according to the data) so I don’t think it’s fair to have these blanket lockdowns.

“There is a positive, however, that with the roll-out of a vaccine, the end of this is now in sight. Hopefully this is the last lockdown and the last bit of frustration we have to experience before we see the end of Covid-19,” he said.