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Covid: 14,555 positive PCR cases and 5,406 antigens, 940 in hospital

The latest figures were confirmed by the Department of Health today.

Image: Leah Farrell

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE reported an additional 14,555 positive PCR cases of Covid-19 in Ireland today.

There were also 5,406 positive antigen tests registered through the HSE website on Friday.

As of 8am this morning, 940 people were in hospital with the virus, 89 of whom were receiving treatment in intensive care.

There were 17,065 cases of Covid-19 reported yesterday by PCR only, with 1,011 people in hospital and 92 in ICU.

On Wednesday, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) said that there had been 83 deaths notified in previous seven days, bringing Ireland’s total number of deaths to 6,035.

The latest figures come in the wake of warnings from NPHET that the PCR testing system has been overwhelmed by the volume of the disease in the country in recent weeks, and that the true volume of cases is much higher.

New guidance around close contacts came into effect yesterday, and a new HSE system allowing people to register positive antigen tests with the service also went online yesterday morning. Today is the first day the two sets of results – via PCR and antigen – have been released together by the Department of Health. 

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, announced earlier this week that from Friday people who test positive via antigen would not have to also seek a confirmatory PCR.

As has been the case for recent weeks, the daily case number figures released each evening underestimate the level of Covid-19 in Ireland compared to earlier periods in the pandemic when the daily figures were much lower.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said this evening that as people get familiar with the latest public health advice on isolation and restriction of movements for cases and close contacts, the importance of other protective measures should not be disregarded.

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“In particular, this latest guidance places an increased emphasis on the use by cases and close contacts of higher-grade face masks, as opposed to cloth masks. Other protective measures including strict limiting of social contacts are also advised for the full 10 days following a confirmed Covid-19 infection or close contact,” he said.

These combined measures are intended to offset any increase in risk of transmission that may result from the reduction and or removal of the requirement to self-isolate or restrict movements.

He said that it is now recommended that medical grade or FFP2 masks are used by any confirmed case, close contact or symptomatic person aged 13 and over, as well as over 60s or vulnerable people in crowded indoor or outdoor settings.

He said that masks can play a key role in reducing transmission of the virus “if made correctly, well fitted and worn properly – that is they cover the nose, mouth and chin”.

“By layering up on the basic public health measures, including vaccination, we can reduce the spread of Covid-19 and continue to protect ourselves and our loved ones from infection.

“Continue to practise social distancing and good hand hygiene, work from home unless necessary to attend, avoid crowds and ensure indoor spaces and public transport are ventilated (open windows).”

About the author:

Jane Moore

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