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Fall in number of Covid-19 cases compared to last week, latest figures show

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

THE NUMBER OF new Covid-19 cases recorded in Ireland has fallen by nearly a fifth in the last week, latest figures show.

In the last seven days, there have been 14,187 cases confirmed through PCR tests, with 16,531 positive antigen tests registered on the HSE website.

In total, it represents a 16% drop on the previous week, which saw 14,374 PCR cases and 21,284 positive antigens.

However, the number of patients in hospital with the virus remains over 1,000, having reached the figure for the first time since April earlier this week.

As of this morning, there are 1,018 patients with Covid-19 in hospitals around Ireland, with 45 people in intensive care with the virus, a rise from 36 people last week.

The county with the highest number of PCR-confirmed cases in the last 14 days is Laois at 785.2 cases per 100,000 people. This was followed by Waterford at 706.7, and Tipperary at 696.9.

Dublin’s PCR 14-day incidence rate is 562 per 100,000.

The incidence rate is lowest in Monaghan at 377.9 and Cavan at 477.8 per 100,000 respectively.

Last week, interim Chief Medical Officer Dr Breda Smyth said that Ireland is now in a mitigation phase of efforts to stem the spread of Covid.

With the virus widespread, it’s no longer necessary to try and identify every single case, she said.

“The population has very high protection through the vaccination programme. Because of that, it’s really the more vulnerable that we want to protect now in our population.”

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are now recommending that second booster doses of Covid vaccines be considered for people between 60 and 79 years old and people with medical conditions putting them at high risk of severe disease.

Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said today: “Our Covid-19 vaccines work, and offer good levels of protection against severe illness and hospitalisation.

“With cases and hospitalisations rising again as we enter the summer period, I urge everybody to get vaccinated and boosted as quickly as possible. There is no time to lose.

“I call on member states to roll out second boosters for everyone over the age of 60 as well as all vulnerable persons immediately and urge everyone eligible to come forth and get vaccinated. This is how we protect ourselves, our loved ones and our vulnerable populations.”

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is considering whether people under 65 should be invited to get a second booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, with new vaccines being augmented to specifically tackle the Omicron variant.

Speaking to The Journal last week, Professor of Immunology at DCU Christine Loscher said that boosters must be given at the right time in order for it to be effective against a winter surge.

“Boosting now may be just boosting too early for that winter wave because we do know that the antibodies will wane and you’ll still get protection against severity, but if you want to boost a population in preparation for a wave, you want to boost them at the right time so that their antibody level is high enough to give them protection against getting the infection in the first place,” she said.

“If we’re going to give the same vaccine or an Omicron vaccine to the general population, we should be looking at doing that towards the end of August and start of September when you can start vaccinating people over the course of September and October.”

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