Covid: 4,163 new cases as Holohan says adherence to health measures having 'positive impact'

There are 545 coronavirus patients in hospital, with 117 in intensive care units
Covid: 4,163 new cases as Holohan says adherence to health measures having 'positive impact'

James Cox

A further 4,163 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State today.

There are 545 coronavirus patients in hospital, with 117 in intensive care units.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said people's adherence to public health measures is beginning to have a "positive impact" on the trajectory of the virus.

Dr Holohan said: “The additional efforts to adhere to the public health measures we have been taking over the last few weeks are having a positive impact. We are beginning to see stabilisation in a range of key indicators of incidence of Covid-19.

"While this progress is very welcome, the level of disease in the community is still a concern. Stabilisation is happening at too high a level."

'Cause for hope'

Meanwhile, falling cases of Covid-19 among the elderly population who have had their third vaccine dose is a “cause for hope”, a HSE briefing has heard.

Chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said there has also been a “sharp drop” in hospital admissions among the older age groups who have received the booster jab.

Ireland is among the top five countries in the EU in terms of the booster rollout, with over 880,000 doses administered, the briefing heard on Thursday.

Omicron variant

The first case of the Omicron variant in Ireland was identified on Wednesday.

While there has been talk of tweaking vaccines to deal with the variant, or developing a new one, it is too early to say whether this will be the case.

Professor Ed Lavelle, head of the school of biochemistry and immunology at Trinity College Dublin, told BreakingNews.ie: "The booster campaign is more important than it ever was, nobody should wait.

"Even in the worst case scenario if this looks significantly different and the antibody responses aren’t as well-matched as they were, it’s not like a totally different virus, you’re still going to have a degree of recognition, so what we need is as many people in the population as possible having the highest antibodies possible.

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