THE Department of Public Health Mid-West, UL Hospitals Group and HSE Mid West Community Healthcare are appealing to members of the public to be vigilant this weekend and to sign up for Covid-19 vaccination, as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise across the region.
Over the past 14 days, 1,228 cases have been recorded across the Mid West; 772 in Limerick, 167 in Clare, and 289 in North Tipperary.
The National Public Health Emergency Team has, this Friday, reported an additional 2,098 cases of the disease while provisional date from the Department of Public Health Mid West shows there there were 73 new cases in Limerick over the most recent 24-hour period.
Commenting on the latest figures, Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, said: “For the second time in a week, we are reporting over 2,000 cases. We haven’t seen this number of cases since late January 2021. This is a concerning indication of the level of Covid-19 circulating in our communities."
Appealing for vigilance ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final, Dr Breda Cosgrove, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, said: “While the All Ireland hurling final is an important sporting event, we urge that, if you are socialising this weekend, that you do so safely and that you adhere to public health guidance. Vaccination offers protection against Covid-19 so if you are eligible for a vaccine and have not yet registered, please do so as soon as possible.”
Professor Brian Lenehen, Chief Clinical Director at UL Hospitals Group, added. “We have been witnessing an increase in the number of Covid-positive patients in hospital in recent weeks. Of the 20 Covid-positive inpatients in UHL currently, three are in critical care. We are making great progress on vaccination but we need continued adherence to public health guidelines to reduce community transmission. It is vital that Covid-19 hospitalisations remain low so that we can continue to focus on ramping up scheduled care, so much of which has been significantly disrupted due to the pandemic. As such, I would like to remind the public to support the Limerick hurlers in a safe and responsible manner this weekend in order to protect themselves and their loved ones against the virus.”
Maria Bridgeman, Chief Officer, HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare is also appealing to hurling supporters to behave responsibly: “Even though we have seen a fantastic response to the Covid-19 vaccination programme, it is important to bear in mind that this virus is still circulating at high levels in our community. We all need to follow public health guidelines, and this includes presenting for Covid-19 tests when needed," she said.
Ms Bridgeman added: "The test centre at the Old Wickes Building, Ballysimon Road, is open throughout the weekend, and tests can be booked via the HSE website meaning you can book an appointment in advance to ensure you will see the All-Ireland Final. I know the people of Limerick will give tremendous support to their hurlers, but I would urge everyone to also support their community by backing the team in a responsible manner.”
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