Taoiseach predicts ‘high volume of Covid cases’, figures from closely watched hospitals

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin said on Saturday the government was very concerned about the transmissibility of the Delta variant and predicted a high volume of cases.

“The situation is serious with regard to the Delta variant. There will be a high volume of cases and the number of cases will continue to increase, so we will be monitoring resulting hospitalizations and resulting illnesses, as well as mortality very closely, ”said Martin.

He was speaking as the Ministry of Health reported 1,377 new cases of Covid this evening and said 78 patients were hospitalized, including 22 in intensive care.

“Nphet has made some adjustments and I will be meeting with public health officials this week and we will look at how to plan for August and September.

“We all need to be vigilant about our individual behaviors as this is a new turning point on the road to Covid-19. “

Mr Martin said from now on overseas travel is to resume from Monday with the use of the EU’s Covid digital certificate for travel from the EU or from Space European economy, with indoor meals for fully vaccinated people from July 26.

Threshold

He would not be drawn when asked if the planned easing of restrictions depended on cases remaining below a certain threshold, such as 2,000 cases per day.

Mr Martin pointed out that despite the growing number of cases due to the Delta variant, the situation the government is now facing was very different from 12 months ago, or even six months ago, due to the vaccine deployment.

Restaurant tables on Capel Street in Dublin on Fridays. The Taoiseach said on Friday that indoor dining is expected to resume from July 26, despite the increase in Covid cases. Photography: Collins

“I think where we are now, 60% of the population vaccinated and 75% with the first doses … It’s a different kind of scenario than it would have been a year ago, so I think we need to look at it again and analyze where the prevalence lies, the age cohorts and the strategies we deploy.

“Obviously, vaccination is the most effective tool and we are doing very well on that front and we will continue to do so, and I urge people to take the vaccine that is offered to them, but I think we are at a different stage of the pandemic. compared to six months ago or compared to last year, ”said the Taoiseach.

“We’re going to be looking very seriously at how we plan for August and how we plan for September, but we need to do some analysis on that with public health officials… it’s not just a matter of getting it right. we did it a year ago, ”he added.

“One of the key objectives is to protect the reopening that we have achieved so far, starting with schools and daycares, then construction, personal services, retail, full hospitality. air. It’s about consolidating all of that.

Not vaccinated

The Taoiseach also played down suggestions of tension between the government and Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan over resuming indoor meals, which he confirmed was set to resume from July 26, despite the sharp increase in cases in recent days.

Mr Holohan has repeatedly recommended that parents do not bring children to eat inside, even though under the proposed rules it is allowed.

On Thursday evening, Mr Holohan said: “Unvaccinated people, including children, should continue to avoid high-risk, uncontrolled indoor environments. This includes hospitality on the inside.

He suggested that families going out for a meal should try to do so outside, at least until a larger proportion of the population is vaccinated.

Asked about Dr Holohan’s comments, Mr Martin denied on Saturday that there were tensions between the government and Dr Holohan over the issue and insisted that ministers heed the advice received from public health experts.

Saying he had spoken to Dr Holohan on Friday, the Taoiseach said: “We are working together and the broad and broad direction of the public health councils has been adopted by the government and incorporated into legislation,” Mr Martin said. , speaking on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbor. .

“We went through the Dáil, and many Dáil members opposed it on the grounds that they wanted everyone to be allowed in – vaccinated and not fully vaccinated in the meals inside – (but) we have followed the public health system in this regard.

“There is no tension and we have to keep things in perspective because there has to be a common goal, as has been the case since the start of the pandemic, between the government and the public health boards. I take this very seriously indeed.



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