Public health physician Gabriel Scally has said there have been more cases in border counties than may have been expected, which is “worrying”.

Public health physician Gabriel Scally has said there have been more cases in border counties than may have been expected, which is “worrying”.
As of 25 April there have been 626 Covid-19 cases in Cavan and 373 in Monaghan.
Dr Scally, the President of the Epidemiology and Public Health section of the Royal Society of Medicine, said in order to find out the cause of the higher numbers in these counties it would require a great deal of co-operation with authorities in Northern Ireland. 
The Memorandum of Understanding, signed a couple of weeks ago between the two jurisdictions, comes into play in this situation, he said.
However, proper investigation of this specific virus pattern is a problem, according to Dr Scally, because in Northern Ireland the available data is “quite poor” and testing for Covid-19 is not as widespread as in the Republic. 
This is a problem in dealing with “what looks like an unusual pattern of cases” in the border counties, he said.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, Dr Scally said there could be a so-called “super spreader” in the region, which is the cause of the high numbers of Covid-19 cases, but this will not be known until investigations and comprehensive tracing are carried out.
He said in his opinion “there is no way out of this without an all-island approach”.
It comes as Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said there has been no behaviour on the border that would cause concern in relation to widespread breaches of the emergency Covid-19 legislation.
Commissioner Harris acknowledged that a loophole in the regulations means enforcement is not an option if day visitors from Northern Ireland or outside the State chose not to comply.
He said the vast majority of people remain in compliance.
Public representatives in border counties have, however, called for the regulations to be amended to ensure they apply to everyone, including those who live outside the State.
But the Department of Health would only say last night the restrictions are due to expire next Tuesday, 5 May, and “are being kept under review”.
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Speaking on RTÉ Crimecall last night, Commissioner Harris also said that if officers encounter people breaching the regulations it is likely they have also breached those in Northern Ireland.
He said gardaí are in contact with the PSNI in relation to how both police services are managing the containment measures on the island.
He was speaking ahead of the start of the garda policing plan to ensure the public adheres to the Covid-19 public health guidelines.
According to the Garda Commissioner the plan, Operation Fanacht, is the largest mobilisation ever carried out by An Garda Síochána.
The operation began at 7am.
Over 2,500 gardaí are on duty at any one time deployed on high-visibility policing, mobile patrols, on thousands of checkpoints on major and minor roads and at beaches, parks and beauty spots all over the country.