Northern Ireland news

Donegal Covid outbreak linked to wake

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn

DOZENS of new Covid-19 cases have been linked to a wake in Donegal - the county with the Republic's highest rate.

Health officials said 84 cases were connected to the same social gathering.

There was a separate cluster of 32 cases after a person was infected at a family gathering but continued to go to work.

An additional 19 people were infected after an 18th birthday party in the county.

The details were revealed by the Republic's deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.

Up to Wednesday, the 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Donegal was 307.8. The rate for the Republic as a whole was 134.4.

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, last week said he was concerned about the "levels of non-compliance" with restrictions in Donegal.

This week, police launched a phone line to encourage people to let them know if they saw restrictions being broken.

Dr Glynn today told a briefing that Donegal was not being singled-out for blame.

"It would be very strange for us to preside over a situation where (the) incidence is very high and increasing in a county and not draw attention to that," he said.

"This is not in any way a reflection on the majority but, clearly, there are a number of incidents where people have pushed the boundaries.

"I suppose the difference, at the moment, versus some other places where we have particularly high incidences, is that there are large clusters driving incidences."

A second testing centre has been opened in the county to help curb the spread of infection. It is part of measures implemented to combat a surge in the Milford area.

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