Covid-19: 6,329 PCR-confirmed cases and 4,810 antigen registered cases reported

Hospitality restrictions should not be eased, cautions WHO

An additional 4,810 people have registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images

An additional 4,810 people have registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images

 

The Department of Health reported 6,329 PCR-confirmed cases of Covid-19 with an additional 4,810 people registering a positive antigen test through the HSE portal.

The department says the antigen results are provisional and are not directly comparable with laboratory PCR confirmed cases.

As of 8am today, 1,006 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 97 are in intensive care, the department said. The number in hospital with Covid has increased by 41 on the figure for Sunday.

Speaking amid the latest figures, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said it is important to remember that people don’t need to wait to receive an appointment for a Covid-19 booster vaccine shot from the HSE and can book in for one online on the HSE’s website, as well as by contacting local pharmacies or GPs.

He noted: “According to our Amárach research, 68 per cent of those aged under 35 years, who have received a full, primary course of Covid-19 vaccination but are not yet boosted, said that they would receive a booster dose if they were offered it next week.”

Dr Holohan said that in the last week more than 46,000 children aged between five and 11 have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the State.

He said it is now recommended that medical-grade or FFP2 face masks are used by anyone aged 13 and older who is a confirmed case, a close contact or who has symptoms suggestive of Covid-19.

Those masks are also recommended for over-60s and vulnerable people of all ages in indoor or crowded outdoor places, as well as for anyone visiting a healthcare setting or when visiting those who are vulnerable to the virus in any setting.

“Masks can play a key role in reducing transmission of Covid-19 if made correctly, well fitted and worn properly – that is they cover the nose, mouth and chin,” Dr Holohan said on Twitter.

Dr Holohan also said the best way to protect yourself against the most severe impacts of Covid-19 is to get a booster dose. “The evidence shows that people who have received a booster are less susceptible to infection and, if infected, are less infectious to others,” he said.

Hospital Report

Confirmed cases in hospital Confirmed cases in ICU
241 23

Dr Holohan said the HSE is operating special child-friendly vaccine clinics and such appointments can be booked online on the health service’s website.

“Continue to layer up on the basic public health measures, including vaccination, to protect yourself and your loved ones from infection,” he added.

“Wear the appropriate mask recommended for you, practise social distancing and good hand hygiene, work from home unless necessary to attend in person, avoid crowds and ensure indoor spaces and public transport are ventilated by opening windows regularly.”

The North’s Department of Health reported on Monday that a further four people who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 recently have died in Northern Ireland. Another 3,295 confirmed cases of the virus were also recorded in the latest 24-hour reporting period in the North.

On Monday morning, there were 394 Covid-positive patients in the North’s hospitals, with 28 of them in intensive care.

Hospitality restrictions

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation’s special envoy on Covid-19 Dr David Nabarro has cautioned that restrictions on hospitality should not be eased because the sector was facing difficulty. Any decisions should be made on the basis of the health risk.

Speaking on the Today with Claire Byrne show, Dr Nabarro said that restrictions needed to be “constantly assessed” and the data reviewed. He also warned that the Government should not say that there was “never” going to be a return to restrictions when they were eventually eased.

If a cluster ever built up or there was a surge in cases then the Government should be ready to move swiftly.

Ireland should “stick with what you’re doing” as the measures to date have shown that the country was working well with the “trade-offs” made to date.

Dr Nabarro also urged that restrictions not be eased too quickly. The balance of risk would need to be weighed and hospital and ICU numbers monitored.

While he acknowledged that another variant could develop, he thought it unlikely to be more deadly, but it could be more transmissible.

It was too early to say if a fourth dose of the vaccine would be necessary, he said.

Dr Nabarro also cautioned all governments and health services to ensure there would be capacity to cope with “any nasty surge”. It would be wise to plan for all eventualities and be prepared to implement some local restrictions if there was a surge in a specific geographic area.

Peak

Earlier on Morning Ireland, professor of immunology at Maynooth University, Paul Moynagh said it looked like the Omicron wave had peaked, but it was “difficult to be completely sure”.

Looking at numbers over the last few days it “certainly seems they’ve peaked” and were now decreasing. “If you look at these waves they tend to be symmetrical, we don’t really know why.

“So with Omicron, the incline was very, very steep, so we probably expect the decline to be something similar and reflect that steep incline.”

When asked if it was time to start the gradual lifting of restrictions, Prof Moynagh said he thought it “probably” was. Additional reporting: PA

News Digests

Stay on top of the latest newsSIGN UP HERE