Covid-19: 4,181 new cases reported with 668 in hospital and 125 in ICU

Situation continuing to place an ‘enormous burden’ health system, says Holohan

The Department of Health has reported 4,181 new cases of Covid-19. The number of patients being treated in hospital was 668 as of 8am on Sunday, it said, with 125 in ICU.

Earlier, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said the current surge is continuing to place an "enormous burden" on the health system.

"The current level of Covid-19 in Ireland is having a negative impact on the health of the people of Ireland and placing an enormous burden on our entire health system, from public health to general practice to our acute hospitals. Non-Covid care continues to be severely impacted," Dr Holohan said in a statement.

Hospital Report

“We are all, understandably, very tired of this pandemic,” he said.


“Time and again we have asked the Irish people to take on board public health messaging and act for the collective good. And time and again the vast majority have listened to that message and responded.”

Dr Holohan's latest statement comes as the country, and most of Europe, continues to grapple with a fourth wave of the virus.

A further 5,959 new cases of Covid-19 had been reported on Saturday when there had been 640 patient’s hospitalised, of whom 121 were in intensive care.

Dr Holohan said: “At high levels of transmission, we are very vulnerable to sudden, unsustainable surges of infection, such as we are seeing at the moment. It is for this reason that we must now ask people to continue to heed public health messages. We know that this call is more difficult to respond to now than at any time previously.”

Dr Holohan has advised that members of the public prioritise who they meet with in person, work from home where possible and avail of testing if they are showing symptoms of Covid-19.

On testing, Dr Holohan said antigen tests should only be used if a person does not have symptoms and as a “further additional tool”.

On Saturday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin moved to play downdown play reports of conflict between the Government and the Chief Medical Officer,Dr TonyHolohan, over the provision of subsidised antigen tests to the general public.

Mr Martin said on Saturday that Dr Holohan supported the use of antigen testing in targeted areas but that he was concerned that there should be clear communication about how and when they should be used.

It was reported on Saturday that Dr Holohan had written to the Government, urging it not to provide subsidised antigen tests after the Cabinet had decided to proceed with the plan. Dr Holohan has criticised antigen tests in the past, saying they could be misused and give a false sense of security.


In Europe, Dutch police arrested more than 30 people during unrest in The Hague and other towns in the Netherlands that followed an " orgy of violence " the previous night at a protest against coronavirus restrictions.

Police in Rotterdam said that three rioters were hit by bullets and investigations were under way to establish if they were shot by police on Friday. The condition of the injured rioters was not disclosed.

The city’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said the protest had turned into “an orgy of violence”.

Belfast saw hundreds gathering in the city centre to demonstrate against the planned introduction of Covid-19 certificates in Northern Ireland on Saturday. Many in the crowd outside City Hall carried anti-vaccine and anti-Covid certification placards and banners as the region is currently experiencing a surge in cases.

Stormont ministers backed the introduction of a Covid certification scheme earlier this week which will be used in various settings including the hospitality sector.

Elsewhere, tens of thousands, many of them from far-right groups, marched through Vienna on Saturday rallying against the impending Austrian national lockdown.

Other demonstrations also took place in Croatia and Italy. – Additional reporting Reuters

Glen Murphy

Glen Murphy

Glen Murphy is an Irish Times journalist