Close to 1,000 new Covid cases expected today, HSE chief says

ireland
Close To 1,000 New Covid Cases Expected Today, Hse Chief Says
Paul Reid says the HSE is on high alert as Covid infections rise. Photo: PA
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The number of Covid cases reported by the Department of Health today will be approximately 1,000, according to HSE chief executive Paul Reid.

At a briefing on Thursday afternoon, Mr Reid said the HSE was on a higher alert as infections and hospital numbers continue to rise.

He said it was important not to return to January levels of Covid illness due to the pressure this would place on hospitals.

The last time the HSE reported 1,000 or more cases was in February.

As the Irish Examiner reports, he said: “Yesterday, as you know, we saw one of the highest numbers of cases in one day, since February, as almost 800 cases,” he said.

“We know and expect that today's cases will be approximately 1000.

“Any kind of look forward ahead will clearly demonstrate this is a very significant rise of case numbers."

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He said the vaccine rollout was reducing the impact of the Delta variant and that the only constraint in the vaccination programme was supply.

Mr Reid said the vaccine uptake across age cohorts remains high, with 99 per cent of over-80s vaccinated, 98 per cent of those in the 70-79 age cohort, 94 per cent for those aged 60-69, 91 per cent for 50-59 year-olds and 84 per cent of 40-49 year-olds.

Stark warning

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 Covid cases have been confirmed in the North in a single day, for the first time in six months.

A further 1,083 cases were reported by the region's Department of Health on Thursday, while no further coronavirus-linked deaths were reported.

As of Thursday morning, there were 80 Covid-19 positive patients in hospital, with two in intensive care.

To date, 2.2 million vaccines have been administered in the region.

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Earlier today, the Tánaiste issued a stark warning to unvaccinated people that the pandemic is not over.

Speaking during Leader's Questions, Leo Varadkar said we are entering a new phase of the pandemic but the unvaccinated are at high risk.

The infection rate is increasing by 2 per cent to 4 per cent daily, according to the Department of Health.

Paul Reid says he is very concerned about how the forthcoming easing of restriction in the UK will affect the spread of the variant here.

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