Delta variant of concern as lowest daily case numbers of 2021 reported

Delta variant of concern as lowest daily case numbers of 2021 reported

Gardaí on the beat on Oliver Plunkett Street over the weekend. Picture: Damian Coleman

Nphet are reporting an additional 242 confirmed cases of Covid-19 this evening.

This is the lowest number of cases reported in a single day so far this year.

There are currently 67 Covid patients in hospitals around the country, of which 23 are in intensive care.

From today, people over 50 will be able to get a Covid-19 vaccine from their local pharmacist as more than 1,000 pharmacies across the country join the vaccination programme.

They will initially only administer the one-shot Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine, however, the Pfizer jab will be made available in the coming weeks.

It comes as people in their 30s are expected to be able to register for a vaccine this week.

Meanwhile, the deputy chief medical officer says public health officials are worried about the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Speaking to Beat 102-103 news, Dr Ronan Glynn, says unvaccinated people have to remain vigilant.

"One thing that we're particularly concerned about is the Delta variant, and what impact that may have over the coming weeks," Dr Glynn says.

"We're very keen for people, particularly people who have not been vaccinated, continue to follow the basic messages so that we don't run into trouble over the coming weeks."

'A Europe without barriers': EU Digital Covid Cert signed off 

The head of the EU Commission is predicting a good summer for Europeans.

It comes as the regulations for the EU Digital Covid Certificate are officially signed.

The certificate is designed to facilitate travel between member states and has details of Covid vaccination, test and recovery.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the European Union is delivering thanks to the success of the European vaccination strategy.

"Today, the European Digital Covid Certificate reassures us of this spirit of an open Europe. A Europe without barriers," said Ms von der Leyen.

"Also, a Europe that is slowly but surely opening up after a most difficult time during the pandemic."

In Ireland, cabinet ministers are likely to discuss changes to the quarantine rules for people coming from the UK amid concerns about the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Ministers here are considering extending the quarantine period for unvaccinated passengers from Britain.

They currently have to quarantine at home but can leave after five days with a second negative PCR test.

People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy has called for mandatory hotel quarantine to be introduced for all travellers coming from the UK.

Fully vaccinated people will potentially be allowed to arrive in Ireland without any sort of quarantine.

While those without two doses of vaccine could have to self-quarantine for 10 days even with a negative test.

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