CONCERN continues over the high rates of Covid in outbreak areas of Donegal with local GP representatives postulating that young people having cross-border parties may be the source of the spread of the infections.

With 89  cases and one death in the North the rate is 35 per 100,000 – but 307 in Donegal and 134 in the republic overall.  Milford is reported as 675 and Letterkenny 594 per 100,000. Enforcement has been discussed but with non-essential travel opening up.

The daily case rate fluctuates around 100 in the North but the seven-day case rate is around 639 with the highest in the younger age groups. The young seem to be less at risk and more relaxed about restrictions. Less than one-fifth of 18- to 29-year-olds have had the first vaccination with second doses being less than 10 per cent. In the 30- to 39-year-old group almost half have had one dose of the vaccine with only 14 per cent receiving two doses. So they have more social contact but less protection. 73 per cent of over-60s have had two doses with only six per cent of positive cases in this age group. Nearly half a million have been fully vaccinated.

Derry has a case rate of 88.9, Newry 83, Causeway is higher, but may be linked to Derry. Some put the higher border case rate down to cross-border travel.

1.75m have had the first vaccination in the republic with one-third of Donegal and 95 per cent of over-60s.

A government report has revealed that five suspected blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine have occurred here. The figure comes from a total of 550,000 people who have been given the vaccine up until April 28. These are in proportion to 198 cases in England, 18 in Scotland, nine in Wales and 12 unknown.

GPs submit side effects through the yellow card system. 972,597 have received a first dose and 487,828 a second dose thanks mainly to AstraZeneca and Pfizer but 40-year-olds now being given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines as their risk of clot is relatively higher than their risk of intensive care. ealth Minister Robin Swann has written to his counterpart calling for a halt to non-essential cross-border travel. With sectors beginning to open up across these islands at differing paces, there is much still to be done at a cautious pace.