Public 'must not lose sight' of the danger Covid continues to pose as 575 new cases are confirmed

Public 'must not lose sight' of the danger Covid continues to pose as 575 new cases are confirmed

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health has this evening urged the public to "not lose sight of the danger that Covid-19 continues to pose". 

Speaking this evening, Dr Ronan Glynn said that while there has been a "very understandable focus on the vaccine programme over recent days", people must stay the course of the pandemic.

"While, in time, vaccines will have a very significant positive impact on Covid, they will not stop a further wave of disease over the coming weeks. 

"We are seeing this play out across Europe with many countries now experiencing pressure on their hospital and critical care capacities. We must not let this happen here," he said.

"Together, we have done an extraordinary job of driving down incidence of disease. 

"These efforts are cause for real hope and, if we can return to decreasing indicators of disease, we can continue to protect our loved ones and look forward to much brighter days ahead."

The Department of Health has this evening confirmed that 575 new cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in Ireland as of midnight last night.

No additional Covid-19 deaths have been reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) today.

Of the confirmed new cases there are 232 in Dublin, 48 in Meath, 41 in Tipperary, 38 in Kildare, 30 in Galway and the remaining 186 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

In Cork, as of midnight last night, there were 22 new cases diagnosed.

Nationally, as of 8am today, 360 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 85 are in ICU. 

There were 25 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

As of March 12, 606,904 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland.

"All vaccines authorised for use in Ireland are proven to be very effective against severe Covid-19 disease. 

"The safety of vaccines is underpinned by the ongoing monitoring that the NIAC, the HPRA and the EMA undertake on a rolling basis," commented Professor Karina Butler, Chair of National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).

"We will continue to monitor the situation relating to Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and if we can be satisfied that these events are coincidental and not caused by this vaccine, we will reassess the situation and our recommendations. 

"The HPRA will keep NIAC fully informed as the EMA investigation progresses and we, in turn, will ensure to keep you updated," she continued. 

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group this evening said:

"I noted last week that we are also seeing an increase in mobility, and, while some increase is to be expected due to many returning to school, we must continue to be very cautious. 

"Now is not the time to be socialising, it’s just too risky.

"We must do all we can to continue to suppress this virus and to ensure that as many people as possible get to benefit from vaccination over the coming months. 

"Each of us knows the range of tried and trusted tools at our disposal. 

"If we continue to keep our distance, wash our hands, wear face masks and stay home we will continue to drive down transmission of this disease."

So far, there has been a total of 227,316 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland and a total of 4,534 Covid-19 related deaths in the country. 

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