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The 9 at 9: Saturday

HSE cyber attack, Covid-19 vaccination rollout and death toll rises in Gaza

Image: Shutterstock/GarethWilley

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

Covid-19 vaccination

1. In our lead story today, Cónal Thomas and Nicky Ryan take a look at Ireland’s Covid-19 vaccination progress, with less than two months until the Government’s target date of giving 80% of adults at least a first dose.

According to an analysis of the latest figures by The Journal, the 80% figure will be passed on 3 July, if the pace of the rollout continues to improve in line with expectations.

Even if no improvement is made, the 80% figure will be reached on 17 July at the current pace of vaccination.

Cyber attack

2. The HSE is continuing to deal with the fallout of a “sophisticated” ransomware attack that the Government called “possibly the most significant cyber attack on the Irish State”.

The HSE was made aware of the attack in the early hours of Friday, and shut down all national and local IT systems yesterday in order to protect them from encryption by attackers. Appointments were cancelled by a number of hospitals yesterday and thousands more could be cancelled next week.

Gaza

3. A family of 10 were killed early today in an Israeli airstrike on the western Gaza Strip, medics in the Palestinian enclave have said. Eight children and two women, all belonging to the Abu Hatab family, were killed in the three-storey building in Shati refugee camp that collapsed following an Israeli strike, medical sources said.

Overall Palestinian fatalities from strikes on Gaza have reached 126 — including 31 children — with 950 injured.

Antigen tests 

4. Health officials yesterday announced a further 425 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, with four more deaths confirmed. This now brings the total number of Covid-19 cases in Ireland to 254,870, with the death toll from Covid-19 at 4,941.

At the briefing Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said NPHET “strongly” recommends against the public buying and using antigen tests.

Wexford

5. Gardaí are appealing for witnesses following a serious road traffic collision in Co Wexford last night. At approximately 11pm a car left the road and struck a tree on the N25 at Ballinaboola near New Ross.

The two occupants of the car were taken from the scene by ambulance to Waterford University Hospital. The condition of the driver, a man in his late 20s, is understood to be serious. Injuries sustained by the passenger, a man also in his 20s, are not thought to be life-threatening.

DUP

6. Edwin Poots has been elected as the new leader of the DUP. The NI Agriculture Minister won the contest against Jeffrey Donaldson by 19 votes to 17.

The choice for Poots was made by the 36 party members elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLAs) and House of Commons (MPs). He has been congratulated by political figures on both sides of the Irish Sea, including Taoiseach Micheál Martin and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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Facebook 

7. The Irish High Court has rejected Facebook’s bid to block an investigation that could potentially stop data transfers from the European Union to the United States.

“I refuse all of the reliefs sought by (Facebook Ireland) and dismiss the claims made by it in the proceedings,” read a statement from Mr Justice David Barniville, dismissing its challenge against the Data Protection Commissioner’s decision to hold a probe.

Facebook’s European headquarters is the Irish capital, Dublin, and the DPC acts as the firm’s lead regulator in the EU.

Debunked 

8. Last week, The Journal FactCheck highlighted how some wellness accounts have become hotbeds for such misinformation. As we reported, former television presenter Aisling O’Loughlin is gaining a significant new following as a result of her dissemination of the same messages – including videos that appear to undermine the use of vaccines and certain health measures which aim to fight Covid-19.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most common claims being made on Irish Instagram right now and explanations for why they are false or misleading.

Weather

9. And finally, it’s not looking great on the weather front this weekend. Heavy showers will become widespread across Munster, Leinster and Connacht through the morning and afternoon, with some thunderstorms and the risk of spot flooding. Cloud and light rain will linger over much of Ulster through the day. Highest temperatures will range from 11 to 15 degrees.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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