Covid-19: Further 12,138 cases confirmed as 52 more deaths notified

Covid-19: Further 12,138 cases confirmed as 52 more deaths notified

The Department of Health has been notified of a further 12,138 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland; 6,843 PCR-confirmed cases, as well as 5,295 positive antigen tests logged through the HSE portal.

There have been an additional 52 deaths related to Covid-19 since Wednesday of last week. This brings the total number of people who have died from the disease to 6,087 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The number of people hospitalised with the virus stands at 910, which is a reduction of 69 since yesterday.

Of those being treated in hospital, 90 are in intensive care, which is down three since yesterday.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said there is reason to be optimistic that Covid restrictions will be eased, starting from next week.

Speaking on his way into today's Cabinet meeting, he said: "We'll take it step by step.

"The Omicron situation, the manner in which that has happened, the widespread nature of its transmission and so on, and the fact that we've managed so far to weather that storm I think gives us grounds for optimism in that medium-term right out to March.

"Throughout the year, we have to be mindful of course of other variants that may come and also the fact that even now the disease levels relative to previous waves are still fairly high, but that said, we can be optimistic about the medium term."

Meanwhile, March 18 of this year is to be designated a bank holiday, under a new proposal agreed by Government.

The holiday will be a once-off national commemorative event, dedicated to healthcare workers and those who have lost their lives during the pandemic.

The Cabinet has also agreed that frontline public healthcare workers who worked in an environment in which they were exposed to Covid-19 will be given a one-off tax-free bonus of €1,000.

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