Covid: 12,508 new cases as legal Covid regulations are set to elapse

As of 8am on Wednesday, there were 1,610 patients in hospital with the virus, of which 49 were in ICU.
Covid: 12,508 new cases as legal Covid regulations are set to elapse

A further 12,508 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded as the Taoiseach has said the return of Covid-19 restrictions can not be justified despite pressure on hospitals.

According to the Department of Health, there has been a further 5,381 PCR-confirmed cases while 7,127 people registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal.

As of 8am on Wednesday, there were 1,610 patients in hospital with the virus, of which 49 were in ICU.

Although case numbers have been increasing significantly, Micheál Martin has said severe illness is not increasing and therefore the Government will allow for legal Covid regulations to elapse on Thursday.

"We can not justify the economic restrictions we had for a virus that is not translating into very significant illness, or mortality or admission to hospitals," Mr Martin said.

"But what [the virus] is doing is causing a lot of disruption across society, particularly in the healthcare environment"

'Very serious second wave'

Speaking on Wednesday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar echoed Mr Martin's comments saying that despite the seriousness of the current Omicron wave, the Government do not think it is appropriate to impose new legal Covid-19 restrictions.

"What we are experiencing is a very serious second wave of Omicron. Largely driven by a very transmissible sub variant," Mr Varadkar said.

"But bear in mind from day one of Covid our objection was to prevent deaths and to prevent our health service from being overwhelmed, so thankfully we are not seeing very high levels of deaths at the moment during this wave.

"The numbers in ICU is about 49 today of whom only about twenty or so are ventilated. This is a very different wave to what we would have experienced previously.

"We don't think it is appropriate to impose new legal restrictions on society and the economy.

"We expect it will peak in the next weeks. We certainly will be in a much better position by the end of April.

"The focus has to be on vaccines, encouraging people to isolate if they are sick. Wearing masks in indoor settings, ventilation, getting outdoors and continuing to increase our health service capacity."

-Additional reporting by Olivia Kelleher

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