There are 1,725 new cases of COVID-19 in Ireland today, the Department of Health has said. The figures are a noticeable drop from yesterday’s in which 2,427 people tested positive for the virus.
473 hospital patients have COVID-19, of whom 97 are being treated in ICU.
The five-day moving average of new cases is now 2,159 - a small decrease on yesterday’s figure of 2,294.
On Friday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told Newstalk that rising case numbers in the first few days of this week had left him “concerned”. While Anthony Staines, a Professor of Health Systems at DCU, said that the Government has failed to put in a place a number of measures that could have reduced the spread of the virus:
“So we’re thinking here, things like more effective ventilation in pubs and restaurants. We’re thinking about more effective ventilation in schools.
“More effective contact tracing, effectively we’ve switched off contact tracing... and the level of contact tracing, really since the beginning of the pandemic, hasn’t been good enough to control the virus.”
Meanwhile, Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE, said he was concerned that 2,000 healthcare workers could soon be sick with the virus.
The use of booster shots has been approved by the European Medicines Agency. However, in Ireland, NIAC has only approved them for those over 60 and people who are immuno-compromised.
Dr Denis McCauley, chairperson of the Irish Medical Organisation GP Sub-Committee, says that it is “essential” that healthcare workers receive booster shots, as their immunity begins to wane.
“Remember that healthcare workers were one of the first people to be vaccinated and that was seven or eight months ago. So all it would take would be for one healthcare worker’s immune response to be not as good and that will be a danger to the people that they are treating.
“Therefore I think that it is essential really, that healthcare workers are vaccinated.”
Main image: A woman receives a COVID vaccine. Picture by: Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON/DPA/PA Images