Covid: Further 2,975 cases as hospital admissions hit highest level since February

The comments come as there are 551 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, which is the highest figure since the end of February.
Covid: Further 2,975 cases as hospital admissions hit highest level since February

A further 2,975 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the Republic, the Department of Health has said.

There are 551 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, which is the highest figure since the end of February. Some 89 of these patients are in intensive care units.

In the past week, another 74 Covid-related deaths have been newly notified.

The chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said the virus was "circulating at too high a level."

He encouraged the public to reduce social contacts and "give the virus less opportunity to spread."

"Reduce the people you intend to meet this week by half. If we all do this collectively, we can suppress current levels of infection," he added.

Vaccine certs

Meanwhile, the HSE's chief clinical officer, Dr Colm Henry, has said it is frustrating that some businesses in the hospitality sector are not checking vaccine certs.

On Tuesday, Government officials and representatives from the hospitality industry met to discuss compliance with Covid-19 regulations amid the surge in case numbers.

During the meeting, representatives from the industry called for stronger sanctions, like penalties and fines, on businesses that breach Covid rules.

Speaking to Newstalk radio, Dr Henry said people need to come together to improve the situation.

"It is frustrating of course, and we can do better.

"What we showed last year was that when people rally together, not just to protect themselves and their families but this sense of solidarity – people want to do the right thing and want to be able to do the right thing. So, we can do better."

Renewed restrictions

Immunology expert Professor Christine Loscher said she did not think restrictions will be reintroduced, despite the increasing case numbers and hospitalisations.

Prof Loscher, an academic at Dublin City University, said the vaccines have been doing their job by preventing the high levels of hospital admissions and intensive care patients that occurred earlier this year.

"While the hospital numbers have yo-yoed over the last week, we have seen them fall by up to 30 or 40 in the last week," she said.

"We have seen them come back again, and I would expect that we will see this up and down over the next month or two until we get those boosters out."

Prof Loscher said that a wider roll out of booster vaccines has influenced the reduction in case numbers.

"While the case numbers are high at the moment, and they may get a bit higher, I would expect that as the booster programme rolls out that we will see case numbers falling over the next couple of months."

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