Taoiseach 'very worried' about Omicron as 7,333 Covid cases reported

ireland
Taoiseach 'Very Worried' About Omicron As 7,333 Covid Cases Reported Taoiseach 'Very Worried' About Omicron As 7,333 Covid Cases Reported
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he is “very worried” and “apprehensive” about the “sheer scale” of spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
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Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he is “very worried” and “apprehensive” about the “sheer scale” of spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, as 7,333 Covid-19 cases were reported today.

As of 8am today, 410 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 107 are in ICU.

Speaking on the Brendan O'Connor Show on RTÉ Radio 1, the Taoiseach said the number of cases of the new variant was doubling every few days. He added that it "could well be" that the worst of the pandemic has yet to come.

“I’m apprehensive in terms of what this might mean in terms of the sheer scale of infection, volume of cases and the great unknown at the moment – which is why we can’t take risks – the great unknown being, how severe is this in terms of requiring hospitalisations and ICUs and just damaging people in terms of health,” he said.

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Mr Martin said the "combination of booster and behaviour will matter" in tackling the Omicron variant.

He said he recognised there is a lot of “dissolution and devastation” at the latest Covid restrictions.

Mr Martin encouraged the use of antigen tests before attending social events, and while he recognised the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) had reservations about antigen tests, he said he supported their use.

While he admitted it would be a "challenge", Mr Martin said he remained confident schools would reopen in January.

Mr Martin said the Government would continue to support businesses impacted by restrictions.

"That's what we're going to do again, that in itself is not a consolation because people who are involved in the industry were full of uncertainty, they want to open, they want to serve people. Covid has persistently disrupted the hospitality sector, the tourism sector and the travel sector. These are the sectors that have suffered the most from the beginning to now in relation to the pandemic."

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