Ireland will experience a “bumpy journey” over the coming weeks as the Delta variant of coronavirus spreads more widely, the Health Service Executive chief has said.
His comments came as a further 1,179 cases of Covid were reported in the Republic.
As of Sunday morning, there were 91 coronavirus patients in hospital, including 22 in intensive care.
In a tweet on Sunday morning, Paul Reid said the Covid positivity rate fell on Saturday from 8.4 per cent to 6.7 per cent, with 77 per cent of people in the Republic now partially vaccinated and almost 64 per cent fully vaccinated.
“A white knucle [sic] ride of vaccines versus Delta but let’s get there,” Mr Reid said on Twitter.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Saturday said the Government was very worried about the transmissibility of the Delta variant and predicted a high volume of cases.
“The situation is serious in respect of the Delta variant. There will be a high volume of cases and case numbers will continue to grow so we will keep a very close eye on hospitalisations that result from that and the illnesses that result from that, and the mortality,” Mr Martin said.
“Nphet have done some remodelling and I will be meeting public health authorities this week and we will be looking at how we plan for August and for September.
“All of us need to be vigilant in terms of our individual behaviours because this is a further twist in the road of Covid-19.”
Mr Martin said that, as of now, foreign travel was set to resume from Monday with the operation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate for travel originating with the EU or European Economic Area, with indoor dining for fully vaccinated people restarting from July 26th.
He would not be drawn when asked whether the planned easing of restrictions was dependent on cases remaining below a certain threshold, such as 2,000 cases per day.
The Taoiseach also played down suggestions of tension between the Government and chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan over the resumption of indoor dining, which he confirmed is set to resume from July 26th, despite the sharp rise in cases in recent days.
Mr Holohan has repeatedly recommended that parents not bring children out for indoor dining, even though this is allowed under the proposed rules.