Nightclubs, closed since March 2020, will be able to open with 100% capacity, essentially eliminating social distancing protocols but for when patrons are ordering drinks at the bar. File photograph: Getty

Hospitality industry wins concessions from Government amid detiorating Covid situation

On Wednesday night there were 437 Covid-19 cases across the entire hospital system, compared to 311 on the same day last year. Photograph: Getty Images

The fear among health staff is that flu plus Covid is going to make for a very difficult winter in our hospitals

HSE chief executive Paul Reid speaking to the media at Dr Steevens Hospital on Thursday.

Elective procedures to be cancelled if rise in Covid-19 numbers continues, says Reid

A Covid-19 rapid antigen test. Photograph: Joel Carrett/EPA

Almost half think person with Covid symptoms does not have to isolate if rapid test result negative

 Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan: highlighted unvaccinated groups in the population and criticised businesses that failed to check Covid certs. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Holohan calls for changes in public behaviour as hospitality sector set to reopen

There were 464 patients with Covid-19 in hospital on Wednesday morning, including 86 in intensive care. File photograph: The Irish Times

Infections up across most regions and age groups, with large outbreaks in some counties

In his letter to Government on Monday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said Nphet could not fully rule out the reintroduction of restrictions in the future. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Public health measures to be retained until at least February 2022 as virus spreads

Government ministers announced earlier this week that Niac had approved booster shots for those aged between 60 and 79 years. Photograph: Alan Betson

Niac says booster should be delayed for people who have had Covid after vaccination

The Irish Medical Organisation is set to discuss with the Health Service Executive the administration of boosters to the 60-69 age group. File photograph: Getty

While most doctors will agree to give shots for over-70s, small number set to drop out

Circulation of flu viruses across Europe is expected in the coming weeks. File photograph: Getty

Roscommon registered lowest figures nationally, with vaccination rate just above 54%

Those aged between 60 and 70 are likely to get boosters in mass vaccination centres

Covid-19 booster shots to be given to more than 800,000 aged between 60 and 80

On World Osteoporosis Day, which is Wednesday, the Irish Osteoporosis Society is urging women over 65 to protect their bone health. Pictured are society ambassador TV presenter Mary Kennedy, Hilda Smith, Mary Dunne and Anne Marsh.

Irish Osteoporosis Society data show almost 70% of hip fractures happening in women

 A Covid-19 rapid antigen test. Photograph: Joel Carrett/EPA

Rapid testing to play an enhanced role in the Government’s new Covid-19 strategy

The HSE is working with distributors to ensure CPAP devices are repaired or replaced, as well as developing specific clinical advice for consultants who have prescribed them. File photograph: Getty

Efforts under way countrywide across health service to locate sleep and respiratory machines

Coronavirus booster shots are already being provided to the very old and the immunocompromised. File photograph: Getty

Chief reason for development is indication that vaccines not providing lasting protection

The number of new Covid-19 cases dropped to 1,380 on Sunday, following the nine-month high of 2,180 cases recorded on Saturday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Total of 470 Covid-19 patients in hospital on Sunday night, including 74 in ICU

The free flu vaccine is available through GPs and pharmacists. Photograph: iStock

Vaccine is free for children aged two to 17 and is administered by spraying in the nostrils

The delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has an estimated reproduction number of between five and eight, meaning on average one case will pass the virus on to between five and eight others

Analysis: There are more moving parts to the pandemic equation than before

Politicians also appear to be pinning their hopes on the wider use of booster shots. File photograph: Getty

Expert opinion unsure if ‘a three-dose schedule will improve responses, or durability’

The Government will closely monitor the data this weekend before making a final decision next Monday or Tuesday.  Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/

Move could see vaccine certs remain in place as a requirement for indoor hospitality

Professor says it is ‘highly unlikely’ additional doses of vaccine would reduce mucosal responses and, therefore, prevent all infections and transmission. Photograph: iStock

Can’t afford ‘luxury’ of booster jab when most of the world not vaccinated, Prof Mary Keogan says

‘It’s a big first step, an important first step. We’re putting women’s health front and centre,’ says Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. Photograph: iStock

Government could be open to legal challenges if it went below age of consent, Butler says

Mr Donnelly said the National Immunisation Advisory Committee is considering provision of booster shots to people above 60 or 65. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Minister renews appeal for everyone to be immunised ahead of ‘really tough winter’

Hospital outbreaks have risen from seven to 10 clusters and involve a total of 37 cases, the Health Service Executive says. Photograph: iStock

Deputy chief medical officer says all indicators point to deteriorating disease trajectory

Letterkenny University Hospital failed to meet national HSE and Saolta Group timelines for the review, testing and diagnosis of some women referred with post-menopausal bleeding, the report found. Photograph: Trevor McBride/ File

Weaknesses remain in governance of services following extra funding, says report

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said ‘the trajectory of the disease has taken a wrong turn’ as  2,066 cases were reported on Wednesday.  Photograph: Mark Marlow/PA Wire

Taoiseach says he can’t guarantee final unwinding of restrictions on October 22nd

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste  Leo Varadkar and deputy chief medical officer  Dr Ronan Glynn at a briefing last year. Dr Glynn  gave a briefing to senior officials on Wednesday  warning that the Covid-19 pandemic had taken an unexpected turn for the worse. Photograph: Julien Behal

Despite having one of best vaccination rates, incidence rate of virus in among highest in EU

Dr Eamonn Shanahan, GP at the Farranfore Medical Centre: says he cannot isolate any particular reason for the spike in Kerry cases.

GP in Kerry questions if ending of restrictions premature

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly’s condition forced the postponement at short notice of the department’s post-Budget briefing in Government Buildings on Wednesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Minister for Health immediately arranged a test, which returned a ‘not-detected’ result

In 2019, there were 59,574 births in Ireland, 242 stillbirths and 150 neonatal deaths. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

State has perinatal mortality rate of one in every 166 births, NPEC reports

Budget 2022: An additional €250m is being pumped into waiting-list initiatives. File photograph: Getty

Underspend in sector exceeds €800m – a striking contrast to the years of overspending

Recruitment of  additional 8,000 health staff,  extension of free GP care  and 19 additional critical care beds announced in Budget 2022. Photograph: iStock

Budget 2022: Health spend to rise to €22.2bn with free GP care for children extended

More than 1,100 higher specialist trainees and fellows in training to become consultants were surveyed for the study, published in the Journal of Medical and Health Studies. Photograph: iStock

Survey finds 90% of trainees have concerns over Sláintecare draft consultant contract

In the last four days the number of cases has  risen from 1,500 to 2,000 per day. Photograph: iStock

‘Challenging’ winter ahead for health service says Reid as further 1,358 cases reported

Amyloidosis is caused by deposits of abnormal protein – amyloid – in tissues and organs throughout the body. File photograph: Getty

Up to 1% of Co Donegal population has been estimated to have the hereditary condition

Traffic  on Capel Street, Dublin. On average, one person met 4.3 others from outside their household during the previous 48 hours, according to the ESRI analysis. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Research shows 62.5% of workers went to their workplace at some point last week

The number of people on waiting lists has grown from 600,000 in 2017, when the Sláintecare report was written, to more than 900,000 today, the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council says. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach urged to redouble efforts to implement Sláintecare and transform health service

‘Many people believe obesity is a lifestyle choice which is due to poor self-discipline and lack of motivation, but that is just not the case’, Prof Donal O’Shea said at the event.

Condition is ‘complex chronic disease for which there are a lot of different causes’

Eighty people have reported experiencing heart inflammation after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine, according to a report from the State’s drugs regulator. Photograph: EPA

Total of 15,424 suspected side-effects reported in period where 7.2m doses administered

Of those with new onset cardiac symptoms, 62 per cent reported shortness of breath, 54 per cent had palpitations, 53 dizziness and 41 per cent chest pain/heaviness. Photograph: Jeffrey Basinger via Getty Images

However, many of those infected can experience residual cardiac symptoms

The Dublin District Coroner says 25 autopsies have been performed on deceased people with the virus this year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Autopsies in Covid cases restricted to two sites in Dublin and Cork due to infection risk

Members of the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council decided on Monday to write to the three leaders seeking the meeting, despite its term of office ending on October 24th. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Group wants to discuss concerns over future of health reforms with party leaders

Garda at the scene of an incident  at Ashfield Park, Dublin 15, on Monday. Photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin

Woman and two men taken to hospital following incident in Ashfield Park area

There are 333 people in hospital with Covid-19 in the State, and 338 with the virus in hospital in the North. Photograph: Leah Farrell/

Incidence of disease among children now lower than it was prior to schools reopening

HSE chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said the audit demonstrated continued improvement in the quality of hip fracture care. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Some areas saw improvement, such as faster admission times and more falls assessments

Vicky Phelan said she is no longer eligible for proton beam therapy since her tumours are too extensive. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Phelan advised to spend time with family before starting down ‘chemotherapy road’

The Sláintecare process has been thrown into turmoil with the resignation of the two officials leading the reforms. File photograph: The Irish Times

Government attempts to restore confidence in reforms amid turmoil

No Covid-19 deaths among vaccinated people aged under 50 have been recorded in Ireland, new figures show. Photograph: Fehim Demir/EPA

Further 1,059 cases reported while data shows over 100 breakthrough infections among fatalities

 Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies programme said: ‘The spread of the virus has also amplified the spread of ageism, with older adults being wrongly stereotyped as frail, vulnerable and in need of protection.’ Photograph: Salvatore di Nolfi/EPA

WHO official urges focus on home care in rethink of how older people are looked after

Dr Anthony O’Connor tendered his resignation in a letter to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly this week.

Prof Anthony O’Connor’s resignation letter claims the original culture of Slaintecare has been ‘bulldozed’

Prof Luke O’Neill speaking during a lecture at Trinity College Dublin’s Institute of Population Health. He said the world would exit the Covid-19 pandemic when more than 80% of its population was protected against the virus through vaccination or infection. Photograph: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

Vaccinating children against Covid-19 unethical given global inequality, says academic

Sixty-one per cent of the total population of the EU is fully vaccinated. Photograph: Getty Images

Further 102 deaths recorded in September, marking highest monthly figure since March

Spain has the highest rates of transplantation and organ donation in Europe. Photograph: iStock

Organ transplantation rate fell by 32% last year compared to 2019

An analysis shows the HSE spent €89,000 on yoga and Pilates over a three-year period. Photograph: iStock

Almost €180,000 spent on mindfulness training and €89,000 on yoga in three years

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Ministers may ultimately conclude health sector can be reformed without Sláintecare

Kingston Mills, professor of experimental immunology and academic director of the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at TCD. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Further 1,335 coronavirus cases reported on Saturday, says Department of Health

In New York, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told the United Nations General Assembly the pandemic had ‘cast a shadow over our world’. Photograph: John Minchillo-Pool/Getty Images

Taoiseach urges support for vaccine rollout to developing countries in UN speech

One-quarter of those surveyed said they would not want information used if it was personally identifiable, or would be used for profit. File photograph: Getty

National survey of 1,300 people carried out as Sláintecare envisages move to e-health systems

The prevalence of the more transmissible Delta variant continues to pose risk. Photograph: iStock

Despite Covid infection risks, about 22% of residents live in rooms of up to four

Contact tracing is being stopped for asymptomatic cases only. Photograph: iStock

Health editor Paul Cullen explains the Covid policy shift for primary pupils from Monday

After two months of digitally-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), 57 per cent of users with a clinical diagnosis of anxiety and depression were found to be “diagnosis-free”. Photograph: iStock

Some 88% of patients experienced significantly reduced symptoms, pilot study found

None of the hospitalised workers required admission to intensive care and no deaths were recorded over the four-week period, according to the report. Photograph: iStock

More than 260 health staff contracted virus at work over four weeks, HSE report shows

Physical activity may, paradoxically, hasten your risk of a heart attack, a new study suggests. File photograph: Getty Images

New findings do not outweigh health benefits of exercise, researchers emphasise

The research looked at almost 50,000 cases in the first two waves of the pandemic to create what is said to be the first socio-economic picture of those most affected. File photograph: Getty

Fresh research reveals severe obesity as most extreme risk factor across all models reviewed

Smoking rates among teenage boys in Ireland are increasing ‘for the first time in 25 years’. File photograph: Reuters

Study finds rates of vaping among teenagers have almost doubled over four years

Antigen tests are cheaper and faster than the standard PCR tests for detecting Covid-19, but Irish public health officials have repeatedly questioned their accuracy and utility in the pandemic. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

No change to mask rules for schools as Hiqa says it is ‘premature’ to consider removing requirements

Dublin docklands area, home to many corporate head offices. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Mood of uncertainty and nervousness as slow return to the workplace starts on Monday

The practice of routinely tracing contacts of cases who have flown into Ireland was ceased last week without announcement

Flight contact tracing will only be carried out if public health officials say it is necessary

The seven-day incidence of Covid-19 among children aged 5-12 was 350.3 cases per 100,000 people, almost twice the overall incidence of 196.7.

Nphet reports 1,413 confirmed cases of Covid-19 while North records five more deaths

Laura Magahy last week resigned as executive director of the Sláintecare implementation group. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Regional structures ‘critical enabler’ of reforms, Magahy and Keane told Donnelly

The number of school outbreaks more than doubled, from 17 to 40, as the autumn return to the classroom was completed. Photograph: iStock

Total of 169 outbreaks recorded across various settings, an increase on previous weeks

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said he did not think it would be necessary to reimpose a lockdown in the future but this could never be absolutely ruled out. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Ireland on track for full easing of Covid restrictions in October, Nphet says

Some 464 patients are waiting for access to hospital according to the daily trolley count. This is the worst figure since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Photograph: Frank Miller

Magahy and Keane resignations shrouded in mystery but public cares about waiting lists

The recommendation comes as chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan gave the go-ahead for booster shots for nursing home residents and older people in the community. Photograph: Zsolt Czegledi/MTI via AP

Lack of need for boosters due to high level of vaccine efficacy, even against delta variant

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee recommended that boosters be given to residents aged 65 and older in long-term residential care and to those aged 80 and over living in the community. Photograph: iStock

Chief medical officer says he agrees with Niac advice on additional doses for older patients

A continual need to prescribe steroid tablets for a patient with mild to moderate asthma should signify the need for review by a patient’s GP, the Asthma Society of Ireland says. Photograph: iStock

Increase in use among small but vulnerable group ‘alarming’, says Asthma Society

About half of all Covid-19 patients in hospital and in intensive care are fully vaccinated against the disease

Rising proportion of vaccinated people in hospital reflects greater numbers in population getting vaccines

More than 10,000 schoolchildren are estimated to be isolating at home. File photograph: The Irish Times

In just one week 32,000 walk-in and self-referral tests carried out on children

Medical cannabis is indicated for treating three conditions in Ireland, although not chronic pain, and the access scheme is not yet operational. Photograph: iStock

Panel of medical experts find ‘close balance between benefits and harms’

According to the HSE just 83.5 per cent of the adult Monaghan population had received at least one vaccine dose by last Sunday. File photograph: Getty

Border counties register highest incidence of coronavirus in State, according to fresh data

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly acknowledged the ‘big imposition’ of isolation requirements. Photograph: iStock

As testing system comes under extreme pressure, Nphet considers easing of rules

According to Health Service Executive guidelines for GPs relating to men aged under 70 years, PSA testing should not be considered a routine test. File photograph: Getty

Men asked to act in own interests on most common form of invasive male cancer in State

The HSE says it has yet to ‘operationalise’ the change in official guidelines regarding Covid-19 vaccinations for pregnant women. Photograph:  Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

‘It was a mixed experience – some got it, some didn’t,’ says Rotunda specialist

 Dr Cillian De Gascun says the C.1.2  variant  is worth monitoring so  more can be learned about it in relation to transmissibility, disease severity or vaccine effectiveness. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

WHO adds Mu and Lambda to list of ‘variants of interest’ as 11 cases identified here

The HSE’s Niamh O’Beirne says the high testing demand among school-based close contacts was reflective of the level of Covid-19 in the community and not evidence of spread within schools. Photograph: Alan Betson

Surge in demand for HSE contact testing since classes resumed last week

Only Malta has more people immunised than Ireland within the EU. Photograph: Leah Farrell/

Case numbers starting to fall alongside high vaccination rates are positive trends

Three counties – Monaghan, Donegal and Cavan – have 14-day incidences of over 1,000. Photograph: Alan Betson

State records 1,414 new cases of Covid-19, with 353 people in hospital, 55 in ICU

Antibodies for the virus were detected in 21 per cent of healthcare workers at St James’s Hospital in Dublin.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Study finds 13% of staff at University Hospital Galway contracted disease

Cryptosporidium infections were recorded in 58 per cent of electoral areas, and in all 26 counties. Photograph: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

One in five localities recorded cases of cryptosporidium over a 10-year period

The latest figures show 343 people are hospitalised in the State with the disease, of whom 59 are in intensive care. File photograph: The Irish Times

Episode led public health officials to increase opportunities for testing in affected areas

Since the start of the pandemic, 5,112 Covid-19 deaths have occurred, with 87 per cent of cases having underlying conditions. File photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Further 1,751 cases of Covid-19 confirmed, 343 patients in hospital with virus

By and large, schools with proper mitigation measures in place have turned out to be safer for children than the community. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

Monitoring likely key to safety of pupils and teachers in Delta-era classroom

Plans to provide bariatric surgery at three centres in Dublin, Galway and Cork are dependent on Government providing up to €80 million in funding from the end of the year. Photograph: iStock

Dramatic expansion of service mapped out but not yet funded, says head of obesity programme

All 19 dogs in the study reacted to the smell associated with a seizure by making eye contact with their owners, touching them, crying or barking, the researchers found. Photograph: Getty Images

Using sweat harvested from people with epilepsy, researchers exposed dogs to odours captured before, during and after seizures

Parents have been advised to ‘moderate’ their social contacts in the coming weeks to ensure their children successfully return to school. File photograph: Getty Images

Prof Philip Nolan says mitigation measures in schools should be effective against Delta variant

Chief medical officer  Dr Tony Holohan said ‘data clearly shows that, to date, the school environment was not a major source of disease transmission’ but settings outside of school had been linked to transmission and outbreaks.    Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Holohan urges ‘caution’ on after-school activities as reopening of society gathers pace

It cost St Vincent’s, the main centre for bariatric surgery in the Republic, €1 million to treat 90 patients arriving with complications over the past four years, the hospital says.

Patients with bariatric complications going ‘straight off the plane’ to St Vincent’s hospital

According to the ESRI data,   73 per cent of people report having the digital Covid certificate. Photograph: Getty

Behaviour in pubs is substantially higher risk than in cafes and restaurants – survey

Prof Edward Mills: “These drugs are already in the pharmacy, known to be safe and they are usually cheap, so their potential for use in developing countries is huge.”

Irish scientist finds fluvoxamine may be game-changer and cut admissions by 30%

Mask-wearing statues in Temple Bar: UK data shows protection against infection provided by the Pfizer vaccine dropping from 88 per cent one month after vaccination to 74 per cent at five to six months.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Delta variant not proving to be bigger foe to vaccinated but booster could be tweaked

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