Stay vigilant and avoid large groups, CMO advises as seven Covid-related deaths confirmed

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has been notified of 418 confirmed casess of the virus.
Stay vigilant and avoid large groups, CMO advises as seven Covid-related deaths confirmed

Picture: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

The Chief Medical Officer has said the key objective is to maintain our course over the coming weeks.

Dr Tony Holohan warned that while people are looking forward to the greater reopening of activities and services, it is vital that public health advice is followed.

His advice comes as seven further deaths related to Covid-19 have been confirmed bringing the death toll in Ireland to 4,915.

Of the deaths notified today, five occurred in April, one was in February and one in January.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has been notified of 418 confirmed cases of the virus.

The average age of the 418 cases confirmed today is 30 years old with 73% of the cases occurring in those under the age of 45.

The highest number of cases are located in Dublin where 167 cases were confirmed. Cork accounts for 39 cases while 32 are in Donegal, 29 in Kildare and 22 in Meath.

The remaining 129 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

Sligo is the only county with no confirmed cases in the past 24 hours.

The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 in Donegal has risen slightly to 307.8 and remains the highest rate in the country.

The next highest incidence rate is found in Co Kildare where it is at 261.6. The national 14-day incidence rate currently stands at 134.4 - up slightly compared to this day last week.

Dr Holohan warned against congregating in large groups and organising social events.

Throughout this pandemic we have seen outbreaks and clusters of disease as a result of social events such as funerals, wakes and birthday parties.

"Unfortunately we need to continue to stay vigilant to the infectious nature of this disease and avoid congregating together in large groups.

"We need all sectors of society to continue to encourage and support the public health messages and to help everyone to stay safe."

The CMO said that meeting outdoors is safer for everybody but that these meetings should be in small groups, away from crowded areas and everyone should maintain the 2m distance.

"This will minimise the risk of passing the virus from person to person, driving down the incidence rate and keeping our society open."

As of 8am this morning, there are 137 Covid-19 patients in hospital, of which 37 are in ICU. There have been 18 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Around 80% of vaccines will be delivered to adults by end of June - Donnelly 

Picture: Brian Lougheed
Picture: Brian Lougheed

More than 30% of the population aged 16 or over have now received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the latest figures.

In total, 1,621,870 jabs had been administered in the country as of Monday, May 3.

Some 1,174,292 people have received their first dose, while 447,578 (11.5% of the country) have got their second.

Close to 200,000 jabs were administered last week, with more than 44,000 coming on Friday alone.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said the Government will deliver “about 80%” of vaccines to adults by the end of June.

Mr Donnelly said it is possible that 450,000 vaccines a week could be delivered but that it is dependent on supply.

He acknowledged that the vaccination rollout has been "very bumpy" at times with serious downward revisions from AstraZeneca adding to the difficulties.

"As things stand today, if we get the vaccines in according to schedule, and if we keep getting them out as soon as they come into the country, then we then we will be at around 80% at the end of June,” he said.

Speaking on Ireland AM on Virgin Media TV, Mr Donnelly said the vaccine rollout will continue to be rolled out based on age and will not see younger categories bumped up.

Varadkar predicts relative normality by August but warns winter brings uncertainty 

Picture: Larry Cummins
Picture: Larry Cummins

By August, life in Ireland will be “relatively normal” again, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said.

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin, Mr Varadkar said he is "on the confident side of hopeful" that indoor dining in pubs and restaurants will resume in July.

With the vaccine rollout gathering pace, August is when normality should return, he said.

“I think we have to get through another winter to be sure, but I do think life will pretty much back to normal by August,” he said.

While he said most things will be back to normal by then, some restrictions will still remain longer term in relation to mass gatherings and international travel.

But Mr Varadkar caveated his comments by saying nobody can promise that timeline, adding this is the new virus, which is only around a year or so, and the vaccines aren't even around a year, and we just can't know for sure.

“It's possible that the efficacy of the vaccines could wear off after a certain point of time. We don't know what might happen in terms of variants that may be vaccine-resistant. We don't know what will happen when the winter comes,” he said.

99 Covid-19 cases confirmed in NI as vaccine rollout continues 

There have been no further deaths of patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Health said there had been an additional 99 cases of the virus confirmed in the last 24-hour reporting period.

On Wednesday there were 72 Covid-19 positive inpatients in hospital, of whom seven were in intensive care.

Meanwhile 1,397,087 vaccines have been administered. This includes 950,778 first doses and 446,309 second doses.

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