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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C

Coronavirus: 4,667 new cases confirmed in Ireland

The Department of Health confirmed the latest figures today.

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS have confirmed 4,667 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

The Department of Health has also confirmed that four additional cases of the Omicron variant have been detected here.

As of 8am today, 504 people were in hospital with the virus, 109 of whom are in intensive care.

Another five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have been reported in Northern Ireland, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

It brings the total number of confirmed Omicron cases in the region to 10.

Meanwhile, a member of the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has said Omicron is “much more infectious” than Delta and all previous strains.

Professor Andrew Hayward told LBC: “Maybe somewhere between twice and possibly three times as infectious.”

An additional 633 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant were reported across the UK yesterday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,898.

“What we can also see is that the vaccine, two doses of the vaccine, has relatively little impact on stopping that transmission.

“So putting those two together, and the fact that it’s already increasing, doubling every two or three days, what we can be pretty sure of is a very, very large wave of infections, bigger than the waves of infections that we’ve had before, so really the uncertainty is in how that’s going to translate into hospitalisations and deaths.”

Hayward said the hospital system is already “on its knees” and there is a “big problem” ahead.

It was put to him that people may think ministers feel they have to put extra restrictions in place “based on modelling and theories”. He said: “There’s a very, very strong theoretical possibility here. It’s not just an off-chance that we’re talking about.

“And certainly we’re talking about a hospital system that is already pretty much on its knees with the current level of activity, and that level of activity is going to go up dramatically and much worse than a normal winter.

– with reporting from PA

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