Irish coronavirus reproduction rate, average cases fall slightly

Gleeson gets a drone home delivery of essential household and medical supplies in the Irish village of Moneygall

DUBLIN (Reuters) – The average number of people in Ireland infected by someone who has tested positive for the new coronavirus fell to 1.0 to 1.4 after it rose above 1 for the first time last week, senior health officials said on Thursday.

The so-called “reproduction rate” rose to 1.2 to 1.8 a week ago, forcing the government to delay entering the final phase of its reopening plan. A rate above 1 signals that the number of cases are increasing exponentially again.

As of Wednesday, the average number of cases per day over the preceding five days fell to 18 versus a four-week high of 19 last week. A further seven new cases were reported on Thursday.

(This story corrects number of new cases on Thursday to seven from nine)

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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