More than 50,000 people are on the outpatient waiting list for the Mater hospital in Dublin. File photograph: Alan Betson

Figures show 37,000 children on list have gone 12 months without being seen

The Alpha variant that was first identified in the UK remains the dominant variant in the Republic, accounting for about 90% of sequenced samples.

Little community transmission in Republic of version first discovered in India

The delta variant increases your risk of hospitalisation and reduces vaccine effectiveness, particularly if you only have one dose. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Limitations after HSE cyberattack may be masking true prevalence of variant in State

Last January, at the peak of the third wave of the pandemic, more than 2,000 people were hospitalised with coronavirus.

Number of Covid cases in Irish hospitals at nine month low

HSE CEO Paul Reid described the fact that there were no Covid patients in St James’ Hospital in Dublin on Thursday, compared to a peak of 130 cases in January,  as ‘remarkable’. File photograph: The Irish Times

Reid warns confirmed case numbers may increase again slightly over coming days

HSE chief executive  Paul Reid pictured at Dr Steevens’ Hospital on Thursday afternoon at the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19.

‘Still a long way to go’ before services completely restored, says Reid

Dr Tony Holohan after having received an Honorary Fellowship from RCSI on Thursday.

Chief medical officer was speaking after receiving RCSI honour on Thursday

Hiqa  highlighted issues with  passenger locator form that incoming travellers are supposed to complete. Photograph: iStock

Warning comes as North reports up to 25% of new cases may be delta variant

Almost 2,700 cases of Covid-19 have occurred in mental health units in the State during the pandemic.

Legislation needed to ensure buildings are fit for purpose, Mental Health Commission says

 People with takeaway pints  alongside the Grand Canal in Portobello, Dublin. Photograph: Damien Eagers

Two countries stand out as ‘notable anomalies’, Covid-19 survey finds

Once a person has tested positive for Covid-19, they are at least 25 per cent more likely to die if they are male, according to   Society of Actuaries in Ireland analysis.  Photograph: EPA

Men up to 50% more likely to die once infected, Society of Actuaries in Ireland says

There have been 28,719 cases of Covid-19 among healthcare workers, or 11.4% of the total. Of these 786 were hospitalised, and 101 admitted to ICU. Photograph: Getty Images

HSE chief clinical officer says ‘it may be necessary in some circumstances for unvaccinated staff to work in lower risk areas in a(...)

a HSE spokeswoman said it was reviewing the list of options based on the feedback it had received and would update it accordingly. Photograph: Getty

No option to choose ‘Black Irish’ or ‘Asian Irish’ as is offered on CSO Census form

The Pfizer vaccine is the most-desired. Photograph: Brett Carlsen/The New York Times

AstraZeneca the least-desired jab, as vaccine acceptance rises in all age groups

The new Mater  facility  will expand the hospital’s ICU capacity, replace the current national isolation unit and provide specialist isolation rooms for the care of highly-infectious patients. Photograph: Frank Miller

Hospital has used emergency pandemic legislation to ensure the new facility can be delivered ‘as quickly as possible’

While the virus is more prevalent in Limerick city than county, it was present in multiple different areas and settings, and among those aged 45 and under. Photograph: iStock

Interval between doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to be reduced on a phased basis

The most closely related viruses in bats are about 97 per cent similar to Sars-CoV-2, but this is ‘still a big difference’

Opinions veer from ‘it’s clear this is a natural virus’ to ‘it’s not acting like a typical virus’

Under the phased approach being adopted, those who are due a second dose of AstraZeneca over the coming fortnight under the existing 12-week schedule will receive it as planned. Photograph: Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty Images

Plan to reduce timespan in stages from 12 weeks to eight contingent on supplies

Hiqa published  31 inspection reports into nursing homes, some of which had experienced substantial Covid-19 outbreaks. File photograph

Resident with Covid-19 found in communal area by Hiqa inspector on unannounced visit

Almost half a million people still have to get a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine between now and mid-August under current plans.  Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Any change is contingent on there being sufficient supplies of the vaccine available

Thousands of Irish people in their 50s and 60s who are waiting months for a second AstraZeneca dose are exposed to infection by the delta variant, even as younger people at less age-related risk benefit from quicker immunisation using other vaccines. Photograph: Getty Images

Reduction in gap between shots will only happen if sufficient supplies are available

HSE chief executive Paul Reid pictured at Thursday’s  weekly operational update on the response to Covid-19. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

Medical card applications among areas affected in aftermath of cyberattack

 HSE chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry at Dr Steevens’ Hospital for the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Pfizer shot will not be used as second dose for those who got AstraZeneca first, says Henry

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan: ‘It is extremely important that everyone in the Limerick region continues to adhere to the public health advice.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Chief medical officer urges public health compliance in county as 465 cases reported nationally

Dr Tony Holohan doubles down on criticism of crowds socialising in Dublin city last weekend

A simulation of air emergency transfer at the Mater hospital helipad in 2019. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Helipad has been covered by temporary buildings needed for extra coronavirus capacity

Members of the Defence Forces await passengers in order to enforce Covid-19 mandatory quarantine measures, at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Decision came six weeks after rise in cases of problematic variant was noted in India

Nurse Carmel Higgins vaccinates one of the islanders at the Inishbofin health centre. Photograph: Charles McQuillan, Getty

Despite an extensive focus on refusal, the real story in Ireland is the size of the uptake

The big difference between now and last winter is vaccination. Photograph: Alan Betson

Analysis: Ireland’s vaccine rollout seems to be falling behind EU average with J&J undersupply to slow things further

Low take-up among pregnant women with rates at maternity units varying between 20 and 60%

People queuing outside Croke Park for Covid-19 vaccination. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Niac is looking at vaccination of children with high-risk medical conditions

Stephen Donnelly: ‘Anyone who wants a vaccine should be fully vaccinated by the end of September’. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fewer doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca due, with uncertainty around J&J delivery, says Reid

The HSE is looking at starting an information campaign around the benefits of the vaccine for pregnant women. Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Acceptance among pregnant women varies despite ‘astonishing’ take-up in population

HSE CEO Paul Reid Reid stressed there was an urgent need for learning across the public services from what had happened. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

Appointments for about 7,000 patients a day being cancelled due to hack on IT systems

‘Our concern as cancer oncologists is of delayed cancer diagnoses following as a result.’ File photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Without vital patient information to hand, oncologists can do little to progress treatment

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath: ‘This is a criminal activity that has been perpetrated on the Irish State and the innocent victims who are Irish patients.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Stolen HSE data expected to be released online from Monday as ransom will not be paid

Garda sources expect the gang will follow through on its threat, possibly by drip-feeding the release of information. File photograph: Getty

Plans to counter leak drawn up with Garda, data protection chief and social media firms

A busy Grafton Street on Sunday as shops reopen. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

‘Very significant’ decision on reopening of badly hit sectors to be made on Friday

State chief medical officer Tony Holohan has described the Indian variant as the ‘black cloud on the horizon’. File photograph: Getty

Mutations can ‘exploit fact that we are only partially protected in July’, says Prof Philip Nolan

HSE chief executive Paul  Reid said   people in their 40s were already being called for their  vaccination. Photograph: Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland

Paul Reid says almost 300,000 people in the State will be vaccinated in the coming week

Hackers have threatened to release data into the public domain on Monday. Photograph: iStock

Good progress is being made in restoring IT systems in the health service

A week after the attack occurred, inpatient procedures and chemotherapy services were down 50 per cent on normal levels while inpatient and endoscopes were down 70-80 per cent. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The HSE has had its hardest year dealing with Covid. Now it has had its hardest week

 A nurse holds defective breast implants manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prothese, in Nice, southern France. File photograph: Lionel Cironneau/AP Photo

French court rules thousands who received faulty implants are due compensation

Nphet is closely monitoring variants of concern and is concerned about possible higher transmissibility of the Indian variant, according to Dr Tony Holohan. File photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin

UK travel advice to be kept under review as ‘significant quantity’ of B.1.617.2 strain is identified there

‘We have world-class tools employed by world-class suppliers on our cybersecurity,’ said HSE chief executive Paul Reid. Photograph: iStock

Warnings were made about weaknesses in the IT network three years ago

HSE chief executive  Paul Reid at the weekly HSE  update on Thursday.

Chief executive says paying ransom would be ‘a race to the bottom’

The AstraZeneca vaccine accounts for slightly more than half of the reports made to the HPRA so far. Photograph: Liselotte Sabroe/EPA

HPRA has so far been notified of 7,862 reports of suspected side effects from vaccines

The interval between doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is being reduced from 16 weeks to 12 weeks. Photograph: Asif Hassan/AFP via Getty

Any move to give people choice between vaccines requires careful thought – HSE

Some women who declined to be vaccinated expressed concern about the possible effects on their unborn babies, Prof Fergal Malone said.  File photograph: Getty

Rotunda master describes figure as ‘disappointing’ and says staff do their best to reassure people

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin: insists funding has been “significantly increased” for the National Cyber Security Centre this year. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach defends threefold increase to €5.1m in funding of agency this year

The Rotunda was the first site to spot the cyberattack, at 2am last Friday morning, and the first to start shutting down computers. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Complete rebuilding of HSE computer network could take several months

People queue in Bolton, England, as mass vaccinations take place to try and combat the coronavirus variant first discovered in India. Data suggests it is more transmissible than the UK variant that spread across Ireland quickly over Christmas.  Photograph: Christopher Furlong

Caution may stall travel resumption but mutant likely to be taste of others of come

 Members of the Defence Forces await passengers in order to enforce Covid-19 mandatory quarantine measures, at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Government is working on plans for resumption of international travel

Cybersecurity officials are monitoring the dark web for evidence of data from the HSE ransomware attack being dumped online. Photograph: iStock

Disruption caused by cyberattack likely to continue ‘well into this week’

A long queue of people outside Croke Park for Covid-19 vaccination on Monday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Criminals have encrypted some data but the extent of the problem is not yet known

Niac made recommendations about the accines  to chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan over the weekend. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Strict conditions will apply following advice from National Immunisation Advisory Committee

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: “We’re very clear we will not be paying any ransom.” Photograph: Daragh McSweeney

Disruption set to persist into next week as Taoiseach vows ransom will not be paid

A man walks past part of the ‘IN THESE STRANGE TIMES: an evolving series created in response to the pandemic’ exhibition at the Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Four deaths and 425 new cases of coronavirus reported in the State on Friday

People awaiting Covid-19 test results have been asked to continue to self isolate. File photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

HSE says receipt of results may be delayed and those with test appointments booked urged to attend

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said it would take some days to assess the impact of the attack. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach insists vaccination programme continues uninterrupted despite serious cybercrime incident

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin is to present to Government a tourism advisory group’s report  aimed at getting the State ready to restart the tourism sector. It also recommends the removal of restrictions on UK visitors, thus effectively also allowing residents of the Republic to travel freely to Britain. Photograph :Gareth Chaney/Collins

Irish citizens could holiday in UK within weeks

 Members of the Defence Forces escort two buses to The Red Cow Covid mandatory quarantine hotel last week. Currently, there are 976 people in mandatory hotel quarantine. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

New plan for mandatory hotel arrangements and travel restrictions set to be discussed

Among housebound patients, 2,400 have received a first dose and 1,000 a second dose. File photograph: Getty

Some 250,000 shots given this week, with 2,000,000-dose milestone now surpassed

A healthcare worker takes a nasal swab from a policeman during Covid-19 testing in Prayagraj, India. A form of Covid-19 first identified in India has been officially designated a variant of concern in Ireland. Photograph: Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP.

Twenty cases of B1.617.2, which is spreading rapidly in the UK, identified in State up to last week

One in seven adults are now fully vaccinated while 37 per cent have received one dose, the HSE said. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

No further deaths reported as Holohan urges vaccinated to ‘safely resume lives, mindful of guidelines’

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly chats with staff at Reeves Day Surgery in Tallaght as he launches the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy & Action Plan 2021-2023. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Public-only consultant contracts and hiring 70,000 healthcare staff by 2023 also planned

A protest outside Coombe Women’s Hospital in Dublin on Tuesday by members of the  Association for the Improvement in the Maternity Services calling for the removal of  restrictions  on  partners of pregnant women attending scans and appointments. Photograph: Collins

Donnelly ‘quite frustrated’ at lack of progress in allowing partners to attend appointments

Ministers and the three party leaders favour rolling out the use of antigen tests to help with the reopening of many sectors of commercial and social life. Photograph: Getty

Government’s chief science adviser backs use of rapid tests to complement other health measures

Disagreement over the usefulness of antigen testing erupted last week, when chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said Nphet was ‘genuinely concerned’ about the use of  kits in uncontrolled circumstances by retailers. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Isme calls for Government to question reliability of advice it says is ‘so demonstrably wrong’

Of the new cases, 188 were in Dublin. File photograph: The Irish Times

Five suspected blood-clot cases linked to AstraZeneca vaccine in Northern Ireland

Lidl store  duty manager Lauretta Maroni holding one of the  Rapid SARS CoV-2 Antigen Test Card products at its outlet in    Aungier Street, Dublin last Friday. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Varadkar says guidelines will be issued, highlighting risk of ‘false reassurance’

Elaine Hanly at home in Roscommon. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Major trauma centres to open next year in the Mater and CUH aim to improve outcomes

Taoiseach Micheál Martin receives his AstraZeneca jab from  Brenda Dillon, assistant director of nursing at HSE vaccination centre in Cork City Hall. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision/PA Wire

Fears of ‘cancer epidemic’ across Europe as screening stalled during pandemic

 Dr Tony Holohan  said Nphet he was ‘genuinely concerned’ about the use of such kits in uncontrolled circumstances. File photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Nphet official critical of at-home rapid antigen test

By Friday, 1,799,190 doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been administered: 1,305,178 first doses and 494,012 second doses.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Donnelly rejects call to stop cross-Border travel following spike in Donegal case numbers

Nursing homes have been one of the settings hardest hit by Covid-19 infection and mortality during the pandemic, with more than 1,500 related deaths. File photograph: Getty

Move comes amid optimism in Government ahead of easing of restrictions on Monday

A  Covid-19 antigen test  which is available to buy at Lidl stores in Ireland. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Chief medical officer Tony Holohan ‘genuinely concerned’ at sale of such kits

The Covid-19 vaccination centre in Citywest, Dublin. Some 220,000 to 240,000 people are expected to be vaccinated across the country this week, according to chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

Over a third of the eligible population has now received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine

On Thursday night, the department reported eight further Covid-19 deaths – five of them from earlier months – along with 393 infections, as case numbers continue to remain stable despite the lifting of some restrictions. Photograph: iStock

IHME puts deaths from virus at 6.9m globally as it warns of under-reporting in every country

Ireland closed workplaces and businesses ‘much longer and tougher’ than any other European country. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Lax travel restrictions may have been ‘weak link’ in Covid defences, say UCD academics

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: ‘The choices we make now are vital to minimise the incidence of Covid-19 throughout May and June. Prioritise being outside and avoid crowds.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Ministers consider ‘summer stimulus’ package as rollout of one-shot vaccine begins

Over 90 per cent of frontline healthcare workers have taken up the offer of vaccination, says the HSE

No plans by HSE to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for health workers

‘Any in-between solution will result in avoidable loss of patients’ lives,’ the Beaumont neurosurgeons say in a letter to The Irish Times. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Doctors advocate co-locating national neurosurgical centre rather than siting two centres in two hospitals

The chief medical officer said it was important people avoided crowds as reopening continued. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Two further deaths and 383 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the State

Cannabis: Psychiatric services could be “overrun” by a surge in young people needing treatment of mental issues linked to the drug. Image: iStock.

Drug potency and misconception as harmless are ‘devastating’, psychiatrists warn

Tayto Park reopens to the public: Five-month-old Anna with her mum, Claire Monaghan, from Duleek, Co Meath, say hello to the tiger as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions allowed the park to welcome visitors back on Friday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Nphet letter came ahead of Cabinet decision to approve easing of restrictions

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

National public health regulation compliance dropped since January, says ESRI

Meat-processing plants have reported some 3,000 cases during pandemic

Meat-processing plants have reported some 3,000 cases during pandemic

Members of the Defence Forces at the Citywest Covid-19 Vaccination Centre in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Taskforce is currently reviewing the Covid jab rollout plan due to supply issues

Ireland currently has close to 30%  first-dose coverage of all adults, but needs to get this up over 40%  to make the success made possible by vaccination stick.   Photograph: Getty Images

Analysis: Research findings demonstrate the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines

 Medical personnel prepare a Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19. Photograph: Bienvenido Velasco/EPA

Half of 3,500 housebound adults have received first Covid-19 vaccine

Eileen Hyland, who died in 2017. Her son describes hospital’s decision as ‘fitting legacy’ which he hopes ‘ will help a lot more families in the future’.

Family challenged initial decision not to provide radioactive iodine therapy

 Beaumont Hospital: Doctors here say the decision  will  lead to a fragmented provision of services in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Government’s decision criticised by staff at State’s main neurosurgery centre

The number of outbreaks in schools rose six-fold in a week, to 31 last week from five the previous week. Photograph: iStock

Number of clusters in workplaces decline while there none reported in nursing homes

Stephen Lynch died after being hit by a car in Brookview, Tallaght. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Lynch was murdered when he was struck by a vehicle in Tallaght in 2017

A member of the public arriving at a walk-in test centre in Dublin: The centres support enhanced testing for local communities and allow further identification of any variants of concern, says HSE. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Celbridge opens facility with Tullamore to follow as 42,900 people have been tested since programme began

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is to be recommended for use by over-50s. Photograph: Giuseppe Lami/EPA

Use of both vaccines had been curtailed due to concerns around blood-clotting events

The scene of the fatal shooting of Det Adrian Donohoe in Co Louth. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Key person of interest in fatal shooting of Det Adrian Donohoe released without charge

Both the Brazilian and South African variants carry a mutation in the spike protein – the part of the virus that allows it to infect a host – called E484K, which helps bypass immunity from past infection.

Variant cases found but they may struggle to get foothold due to UK B117 dominance

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