HSE chief describes "alarming" rise in people being tested for Covid-19

ireland
Hse Chief Describes "Alarming" Rise In People Being Tested For Covid-19
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James Cox

The head of the HSE says the Covid-19 community positivity rate is at 10 per cent.

HSE director-general Paul Reid says contact tracing calls have more than tripled in recent weeks, to over 30,000 calls per week.

The number of close contacts per person is averaging at five people and 23,000 coronavirus tests are being carried out per day.

The first vaccinations against Covid-19 will be given on Wednesday.

Vaccines

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says more vaccines are coming on stream.

“We'd anticipate that the Moderna vaccine will be approved on January 6th. That's not part of the current schedule you'll see in the papers today. That will bring more in January while there seems to be a good chance the AstraZeneca vaccine will be approved in January. That's particularly important because we pre-ordered a huge amount of them, more so than we did for Pfizer.”

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The Department of Health reported 1,296 new cases yesterday, the highest-ever number confirmed in a single day in the Republic.

Six more patients with the virus have died, bringing the death toll to 2,200.

The first vaccines to be administered in this country will be given to nursing home residents on Wednesday.

Infectious diseases expert Professor Sam McConkey says the outbreak could only be called “stable” here if we were seeing under ten cases a day.

Third wave

Prof McConkey said: “Now we're starting to look for the longer days, and the hope and the spring, and the new life and everyone's starting to feel that optimism and hope of coronavirus and the vaccine coming, and that's all great this turning has happened.

“I think at the same time as all that, we are in the middle of a very brisk third wave that's clearly bigger than the second wave.

“It's clearly worse than we were back in October so we do need this cohesive action again.”

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