Coronavirus: 14,555 new cases as hospitalisations fall below 1,000

Coronavirus: 14,555 new cases as hospitalisations fall below 1,000

The HSE says that 940 people are receiving treatment for the coronavirus in hospital, a drop of 80 on yesterday's figure. File Picture

A further 14,555 positive cases of Covid-19, confirmed by PCR testing, have been notified in Ireland.

In addition, 5,406 people registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal on Friday, January 14.

The number of people being treated in Irish hospitals for Covid-19 has fallen below 1,000 for the first time in almost a week.

As of this morning, the HSE says that 940 people are receiving treatment for the coronavirus in hospital, a drop of 80 on yesterday's figure.

There are currently 89 patients being cared for in intensive care units.

The figures come as Dr Tony Holohan urges people to note that the importance of other protective measures should not be disregarded as they adjust to the latest advice on isolation.

"This latest guidance places an increased emphasis on the use by cases and close contacts of higher-grade face masks, as opposed to cloth masks," the chief medical officer said.

"Other protective measures including strict limiting of social contacts are also advised for the full 10 days following a confirmed Covid-19 infection or close contact.

"These combined measures are intended to offset any increase in risk of transmission that may result from the reduction and or removal of the requirement to self-isolate or restrict movements."

The figures come as chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has urged people to note that as people get familiar with the new advice on isolation periods, the importance of other protective measures should not be disregarded.
The figures come as chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has urged people to note that as people get familiar with the new advice on isolation periods, the importance of other protective measures should not be disregarded.

Dr Holohan reiterated the latest advice, saying that it is now recommended that medical grade or FFP2 masks are used by:

  • Anyone 13 years and older who is a confirmed case, a close contact or who has symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 
  • Over 60s and vulnerable people of all ages in indoor or crowded outdoor places 
  • Anyone visiting a healthcare setting or when visiting those who are vulnerable to Covid-19 in any setting

"Masks can play a key role in reducing transmission of Covid-19 if made correctly, well fitted and worn properly – that is they cover the nose, mouth and chin," he added.

 

In a tweet this morning HSE CEO Paul Reid said a consistent set of trends give great hope.

He said there are fewer patients on oxygen support and GP referrals and overall case numbers are also down.

Mr Reid said booster vaccines and the public's response have so far eased the worst impacts.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said on Friday that he was hopeful Covid-19 restrictions could be removed at the end of the month, allowing events and the hospitality sector to open after 8pm.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is meeting next Thursday and will advise Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on current restrictions.

Mr Martin said the country is making progress against the Omicron variant.

“I would hope that we would be in a position to move forward in terms of the current restrictions but I’m not in a position yet to say anything definitive about that,” he said on Friday.

“I want to really see what the public health people are saying, and also having a sense of where Omicron is.”

Since Friday, close contacts who have had their booster jab and do not have any symptoms no longer have to isolate.

They have been advised to wear higher grade masks and to continue taking regular antigen tests.

 - Additional reporting from Press Association

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