Covid: 2,000 cases as department announces it will no longer publish daily figures

covid-vaccine
Covid: 2,000 Cases As Department Announces It Will No Longer Publish Daily Figures Covid: 2,000 Cases As Department Announces It Will No Longer Publish Daily Figures
As of 8am on Friday, there were 378 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 39 in ICU. Photo: PA Images
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A further 2,000 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed as the Department of Health has announced it will no longer publish daily Covid figures.

There were another 980 positive cases of Covid-19 confirmed by PCR testing while a further 1,020 people registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal.

As of 8am on Friday, there were 378 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 39 in ICU.

Although the Department of Health will no longer publish daily Covid figures, the information will be updated regularly on the Covid hub.

Meanwhile, Covid cases will still be monitored by the HSE, the HPSC and the NVRL, overseen by the chief medical officer. Regular updates will also be provided by the Minister for Health.

A statement released by the Department of Health also cautioned people to keep following public health advice: "With the May bank holiday approaching, it is important that we all continue to follow the public health advice to socialise safely and maintain our focus on protecting those most vulnerable to the severe effects of Covid-19, as well as ourselves.

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"Anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19 should self-isolate until 48 hours after symptoms have substantially or fully resolved – please do not attend any social events, work, school or college if you have symptoms.

"Anyone diagnosed with Covid-19 should self-isolate for seven days from date of onset of symptoms, or if asymptomatic, date of first positive test.

"Anyone exiting self-isolation at day seven should continue to adhere to other public health protective measures.

"Mask wearing is advised on public transport and in healthcare settings."

Meanwhile, several other countries have moved to change their Covid-19 regulations.

Beijing sees more Covid closures as anger grows in Shanghai

China's capital Beijing closed more businesses and residential compounds on Friday, with authorities ramping up contact tracing to contain a Covid-19 outbreak, while resentment grew at the month-long lockdown in Shanghai.

In Shanghai, fenced-in people have been protesting against the lockdown and difficulties in obtaining provisions by banging on pots and pans in the evenings, according to a Reuters witness and residents.

As many as 12.38 million Shanghai residents, nearly half the city's population, are now in lower-risk areas, meaning they can leave their homes, the government said on Friday.

Shanghai's lockdown is driving scores of foreign residents to leave, denting the appeal of mainland China's most cosmopolitan city.

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Beijing's zero-Covid strategy has had dire consequences for the millions of Chinese living abroad, most of whom have been unable to see family and friends at home for two years even as the rest of the world eases travel restrictions.

South Africa says it may be entering fifth Covid wave

South Africa may be entering a fifth Covid wave earlier than expected after a sustained rise in infections over the past 14 days that seems to be driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants, health officials and scientists said on Friday.

South Africa, which has recorded the most coronavirus cases and deaths on the African continent, exited a fourth wave only around January and had predicted a fifth wave could start in May or June, early in the Southern Hemisphere winter.

South Korea lifts outdoor mask mandate

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South Korea said on Friday it will lift an outdoor face mask mandate next week in the country's latest step to ease Covid restrictions, despite opposition from the incoming government which labelled the decision "premature".

Italy orders mask wearing for some indoor venues until mid-June

Face masks will remain compulsory in Italy on public transport and in some indoor venues until June 15th, the health minister said on Thursday.

Masks will still be required to access cinemas, theatres, indoor events and to enter hospitals, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said, adding that the government intends to be cautious in lifting the remaining measures.

Ecuador lifts indoor and outdoor mask mandates

Ecuador will immediately lift mask mandates for both indoor and outdoor spaces thanks to significant gains made against coronavirus, President Guillermo Lasso said on Thursday. - Reuters

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