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Health

Irish COVID-19 reproduction rate increases: health official

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face walks through a shopping street as the government announced they were moving the country to its highest level of restrictions, Level 5, for six weeks as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Galway, Ireland, October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland has seen a steady decrease in COVID-19 infections stall in recent days and the “reproduction rate” that measures the number of people infected by each positive case has increased, a senior health official said on Thursday.

The reproduction rate, also known as the R number, is currently around 0.7-0.9, up from 0.6 a week ago, Colm Henry, the chief clinical officer in the Irish Health Service Executive, told a news briefing.

The government has said it hoped to see the R number fall to 0.5 to allow the country’s strict COVID-19 restrictions to be eased on schedule on Dec. 1.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Catherine Evans

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