1,361 new cases of Covid confirmed in the Republic

Dr. Tony Holohan said: “We have to continue to drive up vaccination rates as high as possible. The higher we go, the better the protection we have and the sooner we’ll be able to ease more of the economic restrictions”
1,361 new cases of Covid confirmed in the Republic

Kenneth Fox

A further 1,361 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed this evening by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

They said that as of 8am today, 160 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised and 26 are in ICU.

Dr. Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said this evening: “We have to continue to drive up vaccination rates as high as possible. The higher we go, the better the protection we have and the sooner we’ll be able to ease more of the economic and social restrictions that still remain in place.”

“Walk-in vaccination centres are opening across the country, anyone over 16 years of age can register for a COVID-19 vaccine. Encourage your friends and family to ensure they get reliable information about the vaccines available here and to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

“For our exhausted healthcare workers, the winter months ahead mean flu, other respiratory infection admissions alongside the backlog of scheduled and unscheduled care that has been disrupted due to Covid-19.”

He said we owe it to them to continue to maintain the basic personal public health protections; manage your contacts, keep distance, wash/sanitize hands regularly, cough/sneeze etiquette and avoid crowds.

It comes as the Taoiseach has ruled out the possibility of a big-bang easing of Covid-19 restrictions, similar to England’s “freedom day”.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said on Wednesday that Ireland has one of the highest rates of vaccine uptake in the world, adding that the country could be “weeks away” from lifting further restrictions on society.

However, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has clarified there will be a gradual easing of restrictions, that may be accelerated with the help of the vaccination programme.

“All this talk about freedom day, to me, if you look at the last pandemic 100 years ago, it didn’t end in one day... it will peter out,” he told Newstalk radio.

Later, Mr Martin told reporters that Ireland will continue to take a “steady as she goes” approach to easing any restrictions over the coming weeks.

“I think it’s steady as she goes, more or less what we said we’d do, we’ve done,” he said

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