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Covid-19 cases rise more than 26% in single week

Limerick, Waterford and Laois have the highest incidence rates among cases confirmed through PCR tests.

THE NUMBER OF new Covid-19 cases recorded in Ireland was more than a quarter higher in the last week compared to the previous one, latest figures show.

In the last seven days, there have been 13,584 cases confirmed through PCR tests, with 17,640 positive antigen tests registered on the HSE website.

In total, it represents a 26.9% rise on the previous week, which saw 10,010 PCR cases and 14,589 positive antigens.

As of this morning, there are 776 patients with Covid-19 in hospitals around Ireland, the highest number since mid-April.

However, the number of Covid-positive patients in ICU has remained relatively stable throughout June, ranging between 20 and 35, with 31 cases in ICU today.

HSE Chief Operating Officer Colm Henry said the country is experiencing a wave caused by Omicron’s immune-evasive subvariants.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One today, Henry said that “we are in the middle of a wave largely driven by these subvariants for Omicron called BA.4 and BA.5″.

“What we’re seeing now highlights the fact that even though we’re in a much better position as a country in relation to Covid compared to previous summers [...] much uncertainty still remains,” he said.

“This is not a seasonal virus in the way we understand other viruses. It’s a virus for all seasons.”

Henry said that people who contracted the Delta variant last year, or even earlier types of Omicron, can be reinfected by the new subvariants.

“What I would say though is that we’re seeing a longer-lasting effect of vaccination from serious illness, and that includes hospitalisation, intensive care, and even death,” he reassured.

“But we are seeing considerable pressure on our hospital system as a result.”

Health officials have repeatedly pointed to the strain that a rise in case numbers and hospitalisations can have on the health system as it tries to provide care and catch up on appointments that were previously delayed due to the pandemic.

“We always have known that if enough people get infected out there in the community, then even if a smaller proportion of those get sick, it does mean increased presentations in the hospital,” Henry said.

“Fortunately, we’re seeing two trends that offer some hope,” he said.

The first was that the incline upwards in hospital cases is “less steep” than the previous incline in March, while the second was the relative stability in ICU cases.

The county with the highest number of PCR-confirmed cases in the last 14 days is Limerick at 579.3 cases per 100,000 people, followed closely by Waterford at 575 and Laois at 564.4.

Dublin’s PCR 14-day incidence rate is 487.9 per 100,000.

The incidence rate is lowest in Monaghan and Cavan at 351.9 and 341.3 per 100,000 respectively.

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