Coronavirus: 1,071 new cases reported in State as number in hospital exceeds 100

Tony Holohan urges anyone with seasonal cold symptoms to arrange test ‘straight away’

The number in ICU in the North with Covid-19 has jumped to seven. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The number in ICU in the North with Covid-19 has jumped to seven. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

A further 1,071 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State.

The new cases were confirmed by the Department of Health on Monday evening, after earlier being misreported as 1,017 new cases.

The department also said the number in hospital with Covid-19 now stands at 101, with the number in ICU at 20.

Speaking amid these latest figures, Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said: “While we continue to enjoy the good weather, we are unfortunately also continuing to see a rise in incidence of disease across all key indicators. Our 14-day incidence is now the highest it’s been since February 24th at 231 [new cases]/100,000 [population]. Our five-day average is 1,159 cases per day, the highest it’s been since February 2nd.

“If you are fully vaccinated, you can have confidence in your vaccine and enjoy socialising and meeting with other vaccinated people indoors, so long as you continue to follow the basic public health precautions.

“If you are waiting to be fully vaccinated, then it is best to continue to socialise outdoors.

“If you have planned to attend a social event, and you experience symptoms of Covid-19, including symptoms of seasonal cold and flu such as headache, sore throat, runny nose; please stay at home, do not attend that event. This applies regardless of your vaccination status. Let your close contacts know how you feel, self-isolate and get tested. It can be tempting to defer getting a test but as soon as you experience symptoms, the best way to protect yourself and others is to arrange one straight away.”

On Monday, the Republic’s Covid-19 vaccine portal opened for people aged 18-24 who wish to opt in to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. Those in that age group who wish to do so can register at vaccine.hse.ie.The move follows the opening up of the vaccine portal on Friday for 25- to 29-year-olds.

The Department of Health tweeted on Monday that nearly 80 per cent of the State’s adult population have now received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Northern Ireland

Meanwhile, more than 1,700 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in a single day in the North.

One more person has also died with the disease there, bringing Northern Ireland’s total death toll from Covid-19 since the pandemic began to 2,163.

The 1,776 new positive cases notified over a 24-hour period up to Monday is a more than three-fold hike since Sunday, when 537 new cases were reported.

While the rate of new cases is reaching the heights of the last wave in January, latest figures from Stormont’s Department of Health show numbers being hospitalised with the disease are significantly lower than at the start of the year.

There were 109 people in the North’s hospitals with Covid-19 on Monday, up from 92 on Friday, and 80 on Thursday. There were seven in ICU, up from two on Friday.

In the middle of January, when case numbers were at their last peak, there were 834 people with Covid-19 in the North’s hospitals and 74 in ICU, according to the department’s Covid dashboard.

Stormont’s Minister for Health Robin Swann has announced that Covid-19 vaccines will be offered to some children in the North.

The move follows the approval by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab for those aged 12 years and over.

The inoculation will be offered to children aged between 12 and 15 with specific underlying health conditions, including severe neuro-disabilities, Down syndrome, immunosuppression and learning disabilities.

Children aged 12 and over who live with someone who is immunosuppressed will also be offered the jab.

“Our vaccination programme has always been guided by the expert advice,” said Mr Swann.

“The decision by the medicines regulator to approve the Pfizer vaccine for use in this younger age group has only been taken after rigorous assessment of both safety and effectiveness.”

The North’s chief medical officer, Dr Michael McBride, said evidence “strongly indicates” that while almost all children and young people are at very low risk from Covid-19, a small number with underlying chronic conditions are at “increased risk and will benefit from the protection offered by vaccination”.