Covid-19 cases in healthcare staff fell dramatically after vaccines – Government

Nearly 20 per cent of adults inoculated while daily deaths fall from 49 in January to eight

The number of positive Covid-19 cases among healthcare workers has fallen from 10 per cent of all cases in December, down to just two per cent. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The number of positive Covid-19 cases among healthcare workers has fallen from 10 per cent of all cases in December, down to just two per cent. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

 

The percentage of positive cases of Covid-19 among healthcare workers has fallen dramatically since the State’s vaccination programme began, the Government has said.

The figure has fallen from 10 per cent of all cases in December, down to just two per cent in the latest 14-day report.

A senior official at the Department of an Taoiseach Elizabeth Canavan told a media briefing on Covid-19 at Government Buildings that other metrics also showed a positive downward trend.

As of today, nearly 20 per cent of the entire adult population over the age of 16 has received a vaccine, she said.

She added that the number of daily deaths from the virus had fallen from 49 per day in January to eight per day at the end of March.

The number of new cases reported on Sunday was the lowest since mid-December and for the first week since last July there were no new outbreaks of the virus in a nursing home last week.

“The benefits are real and tangible,” she said.

Potential risks

However, Ms Canavan pointed to a number of potential risk factors.

She said that data available to Government had shown there was a drift of people back to the office from home in recent weeks. “There is a real risk of new outbreaks if large numbers of people return to the office,” she said.

New data from the the Central Statistics Office also showed that more people were travelling more than 10km from their homes in recent weeks.

“We know a lot of people are tired from working form home but we must stick with it for the next few months,” she said.

Ms Canavan also raised concerns about an increase in social gatherings, pointing to 3,300 fines issued by gardaí to date to those organising house parties. She said those involved were a small minority but there was a risk of them spreading the virus to everybody they came in contact with.

Two more temporary walk-in Covid-19 test centres will open from today where people can avail of a PCR test without an appointment. They are at St Loman’s Hospital in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, and at the GAA club in Dunmanway, Co Cork.

Ms Canavan said that more than 600 positive Covid-19 tests had emerged since the walk-in centres have been established.