Leah Farrell/
daily update

Coronavirus: 5,279 new cases confirmed in Ireland

The Department of Health confirmed the latest figures this afternoon.

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS have confirmed 5,279 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland this afternoon.

As of 8am today, 443 hospital patients have Covid-19, of whom 102 are in ICU.

Yesterday, 4,799 new cases were confirmed while 467 Covid-19 patients were in hospital, including 104 who were in ICU.

This evening, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “As we continue to see incidence rising in our young adult population, I would urge all parents, guardians and extended friends and family to support the young people in your lives to reduce their contacts.

“I know that this is not an easy task for any of us and it can feel very unfair that we continue to ask so much of our young people, particularly at this special time of year.”

This group have made significant sacrifices in order to protect loved ones and I would like to thank them for that. It is important now that we continue to encourage and support each other to make sacrifices, take responsible actions and continue to follow the public health advice.

He encouraged people to try and only meet with the people with whom you they will spend Christmas Day this week, and to keep their contacts as low as possible in order to protect those around them.

“As we roll out the booster programme, it is important to remember that approximately one in six young adults are yet to come forward for vaccination or are not fully vaccinated. Vaccination offers very good protection against severe illness, so it is important that everyone who is eligible for a vaccine comes forward for one,” he said.

“If you display any symptoms of Covid-19 then you must self-isolate straight away and arrange a test. This is the single most important piece of basic public health advice. Do not meet up with others and put them at risk of Covid-19 or another respiratory infection. Do not rely on a negative antigen test as a basis for not isolating.

He said that the Omicron variant now accounts for about two thirds of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

“Public health teams are reporting a higher level of infection among household close contacts as a result of Omicron infection. If there is one positive test, whether from a PCR or an antigen test, within a group such as a household then there is a significant chance that others are already infected, even if not yet testing positive. If one person from a household tests positive prior to an event or gathering, then none should attend.”

With reporting from Lauren Boland

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