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The 9 at 9: Friday

Covid vaccines, G7 summit and a pilot live concert

Image: Shutterstock/mavo

Updated Jun 11th 2021, 8:48 AM

GOOD MORNING. Here’s all the news that you need to know as you start your day.

Vaccines

1. The HSE is continuing work to bring back the systems required to allow GPs to refer high-risk patients who are still waiting for their Covid-19 jab to a vaccination centre, Michelle Hennessy writes in today’s lead story.

The recent cyberattack derailed plans for a system that would allow GPs who were not administering vaccines for this cohort in their own surgeries to refer their high-risk patients for an appointment.

Speaking at yesterday’s HSE briefing, Damian McCallion, National Director Covid Vaccination Programme, said the health service is “very conscious” that people in the medically vulnerable group who are older are being picked up through the age cohorts, but that those who are younger and high risk are not.

Hospital figures

2. The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is down to 59, the lowest figure in almost nine months; 23 of these patients are in ICU.

CEO of the HSE Paul Reid announced the figures last night and said the number of Covid-19 hospital inpatients “continues an amazing decline“.

Reid said this is due to the vaccination rollout and public efforts, adding: “We all deserve to cherish and protect these great moments.”

G7

3. Leaders from around the world are to gather in Cornwall, England, today for the G7 summit.

This will be the first time the leaders have met in almost two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the fight against the virus will be one of the main items on the agenda.

The Group of Seven countries brings together some of the world’s richest democracies – the UK, the US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy, along with representatives of the European Union.

Boris Johnson

4. Sticking with the G7 summit, British Prime Minister Boris johnson has defended his approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic as the UK offered at least 100 million surplus vaccine doses to some of the world’s poorest countries.

The seven nations are expected to collectively agree to provide a billion doses of the vaccine in an effort to end the pandemic in 2022.

US President Joe Biden has already promised to donate half a billion Pfizer vaccines for 92 low and lower-middle income countries and the African Union.

Pilot concert

5. It was “a symbolic moment for the Irish music industry” as James Vincent McMorrow played a pilot live gig in Iveagh Gardens in Dublin last night.

The gig was the first of a number of pilot gigs announced by Arts Minister Catherine Martin to help usher back in live performances in Ireland. There’s a lot riding on how last night went, and whether the hosts, the National Concert Hall and Martin’s department, are happy.

‘Traffic-free’ streets

6. Staying in the capital, Capel Street and Parliament Street are becoming “traffic-free” this evening as part of a six-week trial by Dublin City Council.

The two streets, along with sections of several surrounding streets, are closing to vehicles on weekend evenings. The streets will be traffic-free on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights between 6.30pm to 11.30pm, starting this evening.

Luas

7. Speaking of traffic, the Luas Red Line service between Smithfield and the Point is currently not running due to a technical fault.

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Luas tickets will be accepted on Dublin Bus for the duration of the disruption.

The Red Line between Smithfield and Tallaght/Saggart is still running as normal. All Luas Green Line services are also running as normal.

Water quality

8. There has been an explosion of sea swimming in Ireland in recent times, and with that comes a demand for the best, up-to-date and detailed information about water quality.

Some 73% of the 148 beaches and lakes which are formally designated as swimming spots are deemed to be of an excellent standard under EU testing rules. Overall, 96% meet the minimum standards.

But there is a deeper and more detailed way to analyse the level of pollution, which is not only more revealing but also more concerning, Professor Dearbháile Morris and Dr Liam Burke of NUI Galway write.

Weather forecast 

9. And finally, the weather.

Met Éireann says there patchy light rain and drizzle this morning will clear eastwards to give a mainly dry day with sunny spells and perhaps some showers in the northwest. It’s expected to be a bit fresher and cooler than recent days with highest temperatures of 15 to 20 degrees, warmest in the southeast.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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