20,000 cases of Covid daily in the worst case



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Health Services CEO Paul Reid said there has been an acceleration in Covid-19 cases and positivity rates over the past 48 to 72 hours and it would appear that when Ireland comes out of a Delta wave, it enters an Omicron wave.

In the worst-case scenario, he said, the country could face 20,000 potential cases per day.

However, that trajectory could be altered if people follow public health advice and the recall campaign continues at a steady pace and optimistic modeling estimates the number of cases at around 8,000 per day, he said. added.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Reid said early evidence suggests Omicron is a less dangerous variant but is highly transmissible – more than five and a half times more transmissible than Delta.

He also warned that it was still early days and the concern was the volume of case loadings resulting from the variant and the strain it could put on the healthcare system.

Mr Reid said that in the same week of last year 87,000 PCR tests were performed, while 220,000 PCR tests are currently being performed, along with hundreds of thousands of antigen tests.

He said significant additional resources are being put in place in hospitals, the health system, testing centers and the vaccination campaign.


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Within the hospital system, intensive care capacity is increased to around 350 beds.

Mr Reid said 54% of intensive care patients are not vaccinated, even though only 6% of the population have not received the vaccine.

He said people are still showing up for their first and second doses and work continues with vulnerable groups.

Mr Reid added that more than 303,000 vaccines had been administered in the past three days and urged people to continue to come forward.

Meanwhile, the chair of the High-Level Working Group on Covid-19 Vaccination, Professor Brian MacCraith, tweeted the latest vaccine statistics.

He said 109,000 doses were given yesterday – most of which were booster shots – and that to date 1.87 million doses of the vaccine have been given.

From 8 a.m. there were 390 people with Covid-19 in hospitals, down 39 from the same time yesterday.

This is the lowest figure since October 10.

There were 100 people treated in intensive care units with the virus.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health confirmed 6,307 new cases of Covid-19.

A total of 5,890 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Ireland. This includes 55 newly notified deaths over the past week.


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