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Coronavirus: Irish cabinet to discuss level 5 restrictions

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image captionChief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan briefed the three leaders of the coalition parties on Saturday

The Irish cabinet is to meet on Monday to discuss the National Public Health Emergency Team's recommendation to move to level five Covid-19 restrictions.

It is the second time NPHET has recommended the move to level five.

Earlier this month the Irish government rejected the advice, instead moving to level three restrictions.

On Saturday the Irish Department of Health reported a further eight Covid related deaths and 1,276 new cases of the disease.

Of the newly reported deaths, one occurred in June, two in September and five in October.

There are currently 260 virus patients in Irish hospitals, with 30 in ICU.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan briefed the three leaders of the coalition parties on Saturday, along with senior ministers.

image copyrightBrian Lawless/PA
image captionLevel five contains the tightest public health restrictions in the Government's Living with Covid-19 plan

NPHET says the level five restrictions should remain in place for six weeks.

Following the briefings, the leader of the Green Party Eamon Ryan described the situation as "complex", with "so many different variables".

"A lot of analysis has to be done," he said.

Mr Ryan said the government shares the concerns of NPHET when looking at the numbers, and increased incidence of the virus.

However, he said that the government has to "balance up a whole range of areas" including the impacts of the virus and other impacts on society.

Level five contains the tightest public health restrictions in the Irish government's Living with Covid-19 plan.

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