Another 1,179 Covid cases as Reid expects ‘bumpy journey’ due to Delta variant

Ronan Glynn warns incidence rate of virus particularly high among people aged 16 to 30

HSE chief Paul Reid: Ireland will experience a ‘bumpy journey’ over the next few weeks. Photograph: Leah Farrell / Photocall Ireland

HSE chief Paul Reid: Ireland will experience a ‘bumpy journey’ over the next few weeks. Photograph: Leah Farrell / Photocall Ireland

 

Another 1,179 cases of Covid-19 have been detected, the Department of Health has reported, with 22 persons in intensive care and 91 in hospital.

Ireland will experience a “bumpy journey” over the next few weeks in terms of the Covid Delta variant, the Health Service Executive chief has said.

In a tweet on Sunday morning, Paul Reid, noted, however, that positivity from testing fell on Saturday from 8.4 per cent to 6.7 per cent, with 77 per cent of people partially vaccinated and almost 64 per cent fully vaccinated.

“A white knuckle [sic] ride of vaccines versus Delta but let’s get there,” Mr Reid said on Twitter.

Deputy chief medical official Dr Ronan Glynn called on those not yet vaccinated to be very careful about indoor settings, warning the incidence rate of the virus was particularly high among people aged 16 to 30.

The 14-day incidence rate has now risen to more than 180 per 100,000 cases while the five-day average of over 800 cases per day is the highest since mid-February.

“Unfortunately over the past few days we’ve begun to see these high cases translate into increasing numbers in hospital and in our intensive care units,” said Dr Glynn. “There’s a really big reservoir of people who are still vulnerable to this disease over the weeks to come.”

The Department of Health reported 1,377 new Covid cases on Saturday evening with 78 patients in hospital and 22 in intensive care. The day before, on Friday, there were 73 people with Covid in hospital including 23 in intensive care.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly also took to Twitter on Sunday morning to condemn the recent abuse Dr Tony Holohan and Dr Glynn had received. He was tweeting following reports the chief medical officer and his deputy received threatening and menacing phone calls.

“It is absolutely appalling that public health doctors advising Government would be targeted with abuse for doing their jobs in the middle of a pandemic,” tweeted Mr Donnelly. “They have worked relentlessly throughout Covid and have difficult jobs to do. They deserve our respect and support.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Saturday said the Government was very worried about the transmissibility of the Delta variant and predicted a high volume of cases.

“The situation is serious in respect of the Delta variant. There will be a high volume of cases and case numbers will continue to grow so we will keep a very close eye on hospitalisations that result from that and the illnesses that result from that, and the mortality,” Mr Martin said.

“Nphet have done some remodelling and I will meeting public health authorities this week and we will be looking at how to we plan for August and for September,” said Mr Martin.

“All of us need to be vigilant in terms of our individual behaviours because this is a further twist in the road of Covid-19.”

Mr Martin said that, as of now, foreign travel was set to resume from Monday with the operation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate for travel originating with the EU or European Economic Area, with indoor dining for fully vaccinated people restarting from July 26th.

He would not be drawn when asked whether the planned easing of restrictions was contingent on cases remaining below a certain threshold, such as 2,000 cases per day.

The Taoiseach also played down suggestions of tension between the Government and chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan over the resumption of indoor dining, which he confirmed is set to resume from July 26th, despite the sharp rise in cases in recent days.

Dr Holohan has repeatedly recommended that parents not bring children out for indoor dining, even though under the proposed rules this is allowed.