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latest figures 1,392 new Covid cases in Ireland as ICU numbers reach six-month high

73 patients remain in intensive care

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There have been 1,392 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) this afternoon.

There were 288 Covid-19 patients in Irish hospitals this morning, of which 73 were in intensive care units, an increase of six since yesterday.

This is the highest number of people in ICU with the virus since March 25.

Meanwhile, Ireland has become the first EU country to vaccinate 90pc of its adult population, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said, citing figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

“Ireland now has the highest uptake of vaccination (full or both doses) anywhere in the EU, according to ECDC.

“A huge effort by the public, and everyone involved in our Covid vaccine rollout,” Mr Martin said on Twitter.

Vaccine take-up among adults across the EU at 71.8pc, while in England, it is 81pc.

The five day moving average of cases in Ireland has risen to 1,311.

Ten further deaths and 1,293 cases were confirmed today in Northern Ireland as hospitals there requested military medics be drafted in to help an overwhelmed health service.

NI Health Minister Robin Swann described Northern Ireland’s health service as “under pressure as never before”.

Mr Swann said healthcare staff are "exhausted" and that he was "determined to activate any measure that can alleviate the situation in any way".

He pleaded with the Ministry of Defence to send up to 100 army medics to Northern Ireland to hospitals overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients.

Due to the high incidence of disease in Northern Ireland, many Border counties are experiencing increased prevalence of Covid-19.

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Monaghan Town currently has a 14-day incidence of 1,300 cases per 100,000 people, while Donegal and Cavan are also seeing very high rates of infection in recent weeks.

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