BREAKING: Almost 850 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Limerick over last fortnight

BREAKING: Almost 850 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Limerick over last fortnight

THERE has been 32 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Limerick overnight, figures out this teatime reveal.

Provisional data supplied by the Department of Public Health Mid-West shows that there has been 848 new cases of the disease in Limerick.

Nationally, a total of 1,545 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed overnight.

As of this morning, 335 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, of which 56 are in intensive care.

Since the onset of the pandemic, 5,155 people have died, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has announced, including 43 deaths newly notified in the past week.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: "Overall the incidence of COVID-19 infection is declining across the country, the five day moving average is 1,407 and we see a stabilisation of ICU and hospital admissions. Incidence of Covid-19 in adolescents and young adults is falling significantly and we are seeing early encouraging signs that the rate of infection plateauing in children of school going age. Nphet will continue to monitor this trend over the coming weeks."

In a separate development today, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has announced a further update to Ireland's vaccination programme.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has recommended a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine for residents aged 65 years and older living in long-term residential facilities, and for those aged 80 and older living in the community.

The booster dose can be given after a minimal interval of six months following completion of the primary vaccination schedule.

In coming to their recommendations, NIAC considered the emerging evidence relating to decreasing immunity, vaccine effectiveness of a booster dose against the Delta variant of Covid-19 in protecting against serious disease including hospitalisations, ICU admissions and death, as well as safety data in respect of a booster dose.

Consideration was also given to global vaccine equity and upholding the principles of minimising harm, fairness and moral equality as outlined in the National Vaccine Allocation Framework.

Mr Donnelly said: “Once again this week, we have seen some of the necessary public health restrictions eased thanks to the enormous efforts the Irish people have made to continue to follow the public health advice and, in particular in relation to our amazing levels of vaccine uptake."

"Vaccination remains our pathway out of this pandemic, and as with the earlier phases of our vaccination programme, this update to the programme ensures that we continue to prioritise our most at risk loved ones from the risks posed by Covid-19.”

"I am aware that operationalising these updates to our vaccination programme will take a short period of time. I will continue to work with my Department, the HSE and the High-Level Task Force to implement these recommendations as safely and efficiently as possible," the Health Minister concluded.

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