Delta variant 'beginning to have its impact' says Taoiseach with spike expected by mid-July

ireland
Delta Variant 'Beginning To Have Its Impact' Says Taoiseach With Spike Expected By Mid-July
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said plans for the resumption of non-essential travel remain 'on track' despite worries over the Delta variant. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images
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The Taoiseach has warned that the impact of the Covid-19 Delta variant is beginning to be felt in the State as chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan confirmed the variant now accounts for over 70 per cent of new cases detected.

Mr Martin said there was a "clear indication" Delta was "beginning to have its impact" as 365 new cases of the virus were confirmed by the Department of Health on Monday evening. There was also 51 people in hospital with Covid, 14 of whom were in intensive care.

The Irish Times reports there are growing fears within Government that the spike in case numbers caused by Delta could lead to over 1,000 cases a day in less than two weeks, coinciding with plans for the resumption of non-essential international travel on July 19th.

Despite this, Micheál Martin said plans to reopen international travel and adopt the EU's Digital Covid Certificate scheme on Monday week remain "on track".

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"The Government is committed to entering into the Covid digital certificate framework by the 19th and we’re going to do that," Mr Martin said.

"That was a conscious Government decision some time ago, that we commence with this on July 19th.

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"Significant progress has been made in that regard. It’s clear there are challenges, but progress has been made," he added.

Reassuring those who have been fully vaccinated, a statement from Dr Holohan on Monday evening said: "While this variant continues to present a threat, those of us who are fully vaccinated can have confidence in their vaccine and should feel comfortable meeting with other fully vaccinated people in all settings."

However, he added: "Unfortunately, the Delta variant continues to present a risk to those of us who are unvaccinated or waiting for a second dose of vaccine - we need to continue to follow the public health advice, manage you contacts, avoid crowds, wear a mask, wash your hands and most importantly get your Covid-19 vaccine when it is offered to you."

The Cabinet is expected to be briefed on updated modelling from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) later today, forecasting the spread of the virus over the coming weeks, taking into account the increased prevalence of the Delta variant in the country.

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