Covid ‘twists and turns’ in months ahead, says Taoiseach

Micheál Martin urges personal caution as the more-infectious Delta variant spreads

There will be ‘twists and turns’ associated with Covid in the weeks and months, the Taoiseach said

There will be ‘twists and turns’ associated with Covid in the weeks and months, the Taoiseach said

 

There will be “twists and turns” associated with Covid in the weeks and months ahead despite rising levels of vaccination, the Taoiseach has said.

Speaking on his way into Cabinet on Wednesday morning, Micheál Martin emphasised the need for personal caution as the more-infectious Delta variant of Covid drives an increase in cases and hospitalisations.

“Yes, there are twists and turns in Covid, and that is what a global pandemic does,” he said. “ We have managed to return a lot of activity and reopen the economy and society over the last six months effectively, but we have to be very careful, because it can get undermined by the Delta variant. It does remind us that even though we’re vaccinated, we still have to be very careful.”

Hospital Report

Confirmed cases in hospital Confirmed cases in ICU
484 73

The Cabinet is meeting to discuss the reopening of indoor dining for vaccinated people, as well as the winter plan for the health service, Covid-related spending and the return of second-level and higher-level education in the autumn.

“All of us individually have to redouble our efforts in terms of vigilance and in terms of the very basics we learned at the outset of the pandemic,” Mr Martin said. The Delta variant, he said, will make it “absolutely vital that people adhere to regulations” in indoor or outdoor settings.

“We do need to be very, very vigilant over the coming weeks because the Delta variant is going to increase – we will have an increase in case numbers. We’ve got to try and keep that to a minimum, and we will be closely monitoring the impact of that rise in case numbers . . . on hospitalisations and in particular on ICUs,” he said.

Mr Martin said he met senior National Public Health Emergency Team members, the HSE and the head of the vaccines programme in recent days to be updated on the progress of the pandemic and the immunisation programme.