Covid: Over 900 new cases confirmed on island of Ireland

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Covid: Over 900 New Cases Confirmed On Island Of Ireland
Members of the Irish Defence forces at a Covid-19 testing facility at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in 2020. Photo: PA Images.
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Just over 900 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed on the island of Ireland on Saturday.

A further 448 cases were confirmed in the Republic, while 460 cases were confirmed in Northern Ireland.

No further deaths related to the disease were reported in the North, while daily data on deaths remains unavailable in the Republic due to a cyberattack on the health service. There are 42 people currently hospitalised in the Republic, with 14 in intensive care.

The incidence of the disease is now rising both north and south of the Border, as the more transmissible Delta variant outstrips the suppressive effect of vaccination and drives the beginnings of another wave of the virus.

The Delta variant now accounts for 75 per cent of Covid-19 cases in Northern Ireland, and is suspected to account for around 70 per cent of new cases in the Republic.

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However, the Taoiseach said on Saturday that the Irish public still has the power to weaken the coming wave of Delta variant infections.

Hotspots

Current coronavirus hotspots on the island have emerged in counties Down, Donegal and Waterford.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has warned a fourth wave of the disease, driven by the Delta variant, cannot be stopped, and will lead to higher levels of hospital admissions and death.

In response to the variant threat, the Government took steps on Friday to accelerate the vaccination programme.

People aged 18 to 34 can now “opt in” for AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson jabs and be vaccinated up to two months earlier than anticipated, or choose to wait for an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna.

In another bid to speed up vaccinations, the Government has also contacted all EU member states offering to buy spare vaccine doses, with “a number of leads” identified. One of those agreements will see Ireland buy one million mRNA vaccine doses from Romania.

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Irish public can weaken coming Delta variant wave,...
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The speeding up of vaccinations will not “materially alter” the course of what the country will be dealing with in July and August, deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn has warned, but could stabilise the situation by September.

Fully vaccinated

Almost half of Irish adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said.

New figures released on Saturday show that 48 per cent of adults, 1.8 million people, have now received two doses of the vaccine, while another 68 per cent, 2.56 million, have had their first dose.

In Northern Ireland, just over 2 million vaccines have been administered. Of these, 1.2 million were first doses and 877,402 were second doses.

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