Covid outbreaks caused by symptomatic people socialising, says  Holohan

Covid outbreaks caused by symptomatic people socialising, says  Holohan

Dr Tony Holohan called on the public to remember the basic preventative measures. Picture: Brian Lawless

Recent outbreaks of Covid-19 have originated from symptomatic people attending workplaces and restaurants, and socialising, the State’s Chief Medical Officer has said.

An additional 1,015 cases of Covid-19 have been reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team.

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital has also continued to rise to 178, of which 29 are in ICU.

Dr Tony Holohan called on the public to remember the basic preventative measures.

“Public health doctors around the country are reporting that outbreaks are being notified to them that originated in symptomatic people attending workplaces, or eating out, or visiting friends,” he said.

Please remember that you should stay at home if you have symptoms, even if you are vaccinated, because you could still transmit Covid-19.

“Don’t drop your guard, because heading into work or meeting a friend while experiencing fever, cough, cold/flu symptoms, or loss of sense of smell/taste — that could be the beginning link that sets off a chain of transmission that leads to an outbreak in your community."

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan. Picture: Paddy Cummins/Collins Dublin
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan. Picture: Paddy Cummins/Collins Dublin

However, Dr Holohan also commended young people who have been queuing for vaccinations in recent days.

More than 30,000 people were administered a vaccination at the country’s walk-in centres the weekend, the vast majority of whom were younger-aged cohorts.

“Young people have had an exceptionally difficult time throughout the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

Their willingness to come out to get vaccinated in droves is another example of the resilience they have shown throughout this challenging time."

The State’s Covid-19 vaccination programme has been further bolstered, with the Government announcing it has finalised the deal for the acquisition of 700,000 vaccines from Romania.

The plan to purchase the additional vaccines from Romania was first reported last month, but health officials said there were logistical, regulatory, and legal issues that had to be addressed prior to an official agreement.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the deal was a “welcome boost” to the ongoing vaccination programme.

“As deliveries arrive this month, they will be used to meet the continued high uptake of our Covid vaccines,” he said. 

These new Pfizer vaccines will ensure supply as we continue the next phases of the rollout over the summer and autumn months."

The vaccines will be taken from the Romanian allocation, however, they will arrive directly from Pfizer's production plant in Belgium.

Meanwhile, the helpline for the Digital Covid Certificate has received over 231,500 phone calls, but just 24,600 have been answered, according to the Department of Health.

Since its launch on July 19, staffing numbers at the call centre have jumped from 55 people to more than 90, with more expected to be added, a department spokeswoman said.

A self-service portal has now been launched where the public can request changes to a certificate already received, ask to have their certificate emailed, check the status of a certificate, or request a certificate of recovery.

The HSE's vaccination card is also accepted as proof for indoor dining, the spokeswoman added.

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