Covid: 581 cases confirmed as EU delivers on vaccine target

There are 52 people currently hospitalised with the disease
Covid: 581 cases confirmed as EU delivers on vaccine target

A further 581 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic on Saturday.

There are 52 people currently hospitalised with the disease, with 16 people in intensive care. Daily data on deaths remains unavailable in the Republic due to a cyberattack on the health service.

In Northern Ireland, 445 positive cases of the disease were reported, along with one further coronavirus-linked death reported over the past 24 hours.

It comes as the European Union has delivered enough coronavirus vaccine doses to member states to reach a target to fully vaccinate at least 70 per cent of adults in the bloc, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement on Saturday.

Ms von der Leyen urged EU countries to increase vaccinations and said about 500 million doses would be distributed across the union by Sunday.

The head of Ireland’s health service said today that at least 64 per cent of the country’s adult population will be fully vaccinated by the end of the month.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said that 55 per cent of adults are now fully vaccinated, while 70 per cent have received a first dose.

“The pace we’re going at the minute, you know we should be probably well over 64 per cent by the end of this month, people fully vaccinated,” he told Newstalk radio.

“Certainly by the end of August, or certainly into September, we should be reaching that 80 per cent figure of people fully vaccinated.”

Continued growth

Meanwhile, a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has warned that continued growth of the disease in Ireland to 2,000 daily infections would see 40 admitted to hospital each day.

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of Nphet’s modelling advisory group, said the relationship between case numbers and hospitalisations had been reduced but warned that allowing “a large or sustained increase” in infection levels would still lead to severe disease.

The country’s deputy chief medical officer has said that the Delta variant will not stop Ireland emerging from the pandemic, with vaccination and basic public health measures providing a pathway forward.

A further 631 cases of the virus were confirmed on Friday — in the highest daily figure since April — as the Delta variant has moved from accounting for around five per cent of cases in early June, to a current 70 per cent and rising.

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