Country in overall positive situation but Delta variant 'can set us back', HSE chief warns as 304 cases confirmed

Country in overall positive situation but Delta variant 'can set us back', HSE chief warns as 304 cases confirmed

Pictured today Paul Reid, CEO HSE at Dr Steevens’ Hospital for the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland.

The Chief Executive of the HSE has said that while the country in an overall positive situation in relation to Covid-19, that it was still unknown how the Delta variant would impact the State.

Speaking at the weekly HSE briefing, Paul Reid said that new variants can “set us back just at any stage where we think we have victory in our sights” and that we have to do everything just to not let this happen.

It comes as an additional 304 cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Ireland.

There are 47 people in hospital, of which 13 are in ICU.

Pictured today Paul Reid, CEO HSE at Dr Steevens’ Hospital for the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland
Pictured today Paul Reid, CEO HSE at Dr Steevens’ Hospital for the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland

Mr Reid said there had been a 22% reduction in the total number of cases in the past 14 days.

Some 84% of the cases were confirmed in people under the age of 45, which Mr Reid said demonstrated the benefits of the vaccination programme.

The 14-day incident rate in the country remains below 100 per 100,000 population.

Micheal Martin arriving at Dublin Castle for Cabinet on June 22. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie.
Micheal Martin arriving at Dublin Castle for Cabinet on June 22. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that full vaccination was now the most important protective weapon Ireland had against the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Speaking in Brussels ahead of an EU summit, Mr Martin a full assessment of the prevalence of the Delta variant across Europe was needed and that full vaccination is “the most important protective weapon we have against the Delta variant”.

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