Ireland is at a “critical phase” in its battle against the pandemic, the chairman of the National Public Health Expert Team (NPHET) warned this weekend. Dr Cillian de Gascun admitted a second national lockdown was a “tool in our armoury”, as Ireland reeled after a spike in new cases. Ireland had reduced daily new cases to single-digits during June and July, but since then the rare has slowly increased as a second wave gathers pace.
On Saturday, the country recorded a jump of 142 new cases, a figure that prompted Irish health minister Stephen Donnelly to warn of a “a tipping point”.
It is a pattern reflected across Europe, as cases continue to rise.
In the past two weeks Spain has recorded a sharp rise in the rate of infections, which now sits at 205.5 cases per 100,000.
France has also seen its highest rise in coronavirus infections since lockdown, with 7,462 new confirmed cases on August 28, the highest jump in infections since May 16.
Like in Ireland, Emmanuel Macron hinted his nation may have to prepare for a second lockdown.
He said: “We’re doing everything to avoid another lockdown, and in particular a nationwide lockdown.
“We’ve learned enough to know that nothing can be ruled out.
“But we’re doing everything to prevent it.”