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'There will be a high volume of cases': Taoiseach says spread of Delta variant is 'serious'

Covid-19 cases rose sharply this week, particularly among young people.

Image: Leah Farrell/

TAOISEACH MICHEAL MARTIN has said that responding to the rise in Delta cases of Covid-19 will require a different approach to previous efforts to combat the spread of the virus, due to the rollout of vaccines.

“I’ve been concerned for quite some time with the Delta variant”, Martin said today. “The situation is serious in respect of Delta and all of us have to be vigilant in terms of our individual behaviours.”

“There will be a high volume of cases – case numbers will continue to grow. We’re going to keep a very close eye on the hospitalisations that result from that and illness that results from that, and mortality of course.”

Martin is to meet Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan and other public health figures on Wednesday to discuss the recent rise in cases and to look ahead to potential scenarios in August and September.

“The fundamental objective is we want to prevent people from getting Covid”, he said.

But he added that, given that 60% of the population is now fully vaccinated, “it is a different type of scenario now than it was a year ago”.

“I do think we are in a different stage of the pandemic compared to six months ago”, he said. “It’s not a simple matter of doing the things we did a year ago.”

The Department of Health reported an additional 1,377 cases of COVID-19 today.

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In a video posted on the Department of Health’s Twitter page, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn said: “Unfortunately our incidence has now risen to over 180 per 100,000 cases and we’re reporting a five-day average of cases of over 800 cases per day, and that’s the highest it’s been since the beginning of February.”

There is a particularly high incidence rate among people aged 16 to 30, Glynn said.

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