Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Alamy Stock Photo

Taoiseach says there is no justification for further Covid restrictions

Public health officials today reported a total of 23,125 cases of Covid-19.

THE LATEST WAVE of Covid-19 to hit Ireland does not justify further restrictions, the Taoiseach has said.

The Government has been adamant in recent days that despite soaring Covid-19 cases, it is not contemplating the return of restrictions.

It comes as health officials warn that hospitals are cancelling surgery as they battle with staff absences and growing numbers of Covid patients.

Public health officials today reported a total of 23,125 cases of Covid-19.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been notified of 8,910 PCR-confirmed cases and a further 14,215 people registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal on Wednesday.

As of 8am today, 1,425 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 53 are in ICU.

Speaking from Brussels, after he saw off a bout of Covid to attend a European Council summit, Micheál Martin said that the Chief Medical Officer had not recommended re-introducing measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Martin said that he had spoken to Dr Tony Holohan in the past 48 hours.

“This current wave seems to be less impactful, less virulent, the CMO is of that view, than earlier variants and it doesn’t justify further economic restrictions.”

He did appeal to people to wear masks in crowded places, despite the legal requirement having lifted.

Holohan, the Taoiseach said, has not “withdrawn advice in terms of the desirability of wearing of masks in crowded settings”.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party on Wednesday night that the chief medical officer does not see the need for further Covid restrictions.

He expressed his concern about rising numbers but stressed the Omicron variant of coronavirus is less severe, adding that the population is highly vaccinated and economic and social restrictions are not imposed for a bad flu season.

With reporting from the Press Association.

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