Irish officials warn of ‘exponential’ growth in COVID-19

DUBLIN (Reuters) – The spread of COVID-19 in Ireland has reached an exponential growth phase and a coming surge in hospitalisations will create a “very significant challenge” for Irish society, a leading public health official said on Wednesday.

On Monday the Irish government banned indoor restaurant dining across the country and limited the number of visitors to people’s homes to try to curb the accelerating second wave of coronavirus infections – seen as arising from increased socialising after the lifting of lockdown.

But the government rejected a recommendation from public health officials on the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to impose a much stricter lockdown.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Public Health Emergency Team officials said that the situation had worsened further since their weekend recommendation.

“We are looking at a rapidly deteriorating position, we’re looking at a position that is very precarious because we are in a

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