NEARLY 800 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported by the Department of Health today - the highest daily figure since February 20.
According to provisional figures from the The Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there have been a total of 783 additional cases across the country.
While the figures for Limerick are not available, the National Public Health Emergency Team has confirmed the incidence rate in the Limerick City North LEA is one of the highest in the country and significantly above the overall national rate.
Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital has also risen over the past 24 hours. As of 8am this Wednesday, there were 73 Covid-19 patients in hospital of which 20 were in ICU.
Commenting on the latest figures, Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health appeal to people of all ages to comply with public health guidelines over the coming weeks.
"As we continue to re-open society and enjoy being able to meet loved ones again, it is important to remember that not all social situations are the same. There are certain instances, that are riskier than others. As we have said throughout this pandemic, Covid-19 spreads much easier indoors and when public health measures are not prevalent and as such, it is important to exercise caution in all environments as we continue to safely meet others.”
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer says the latest data is showing clear increases in incidence of disease right across the country.
"There is no question that the delta variant is having a considerable impact of transmission of Covid-19. Delta also appears to be presenting with a different variety of symptoms than we have seen with other variants, including headache, sore throat and blocked or runny nose. If you have any symptoms of a cold or flu it is vital that you isolate immediately and arrange a test,” he said.
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group said the Delta variant is now responsible for most cases in Ireland and that it is at least twice as transmissible than the previous dominant variant.
"We have seen incidence increase significantly over the last two weeks, especially in unvaccinated groups. Infections are now growing at between two and four percent per day. We can control this, and as we move towards a further re-opening of society next week, it is important to remember that the public health advice that we all so familiar with is as effective in breaking the chains of transmission of the Delta variant as it has been throughout the pandemic. Avoid crowds, wear a mask, manage your contacts, keep your distance, meet outdoors where possible, and, if indoors, ensure that the room is well ventilated.”
Commenting on the figures, Professor Karina Butler, Chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee said 70% of the adult population have had at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and almost 60% of adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
“The vaccine programme is being delivered in the fairest and most equitable way and continues to prioritise those most at risk from Covid-19. It is really important that when your turn comes, you take your Covid-19 vaccine and that when called for a second dose, that you complete your dosing schedule and wait the appropriate period for full protection," she said.
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