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restrictions caution Health chiefs to 'monitor Covid situation closely' over coming days as cases jump

Cases rose significantly on Friday while 74 people remain in intensive care

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Dr Ronan Glynn

Dr Ronan Glynn

Dr Ronan Glynn

Health chiefs have said they will “monitor the situation closely” to see if a trend in new Covid infections over recent days continues.

It follows confirmation by public health officials of 1,940 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland at 8am yesterday morning, with 352 patients in hospital, including 74 in ICU.

On Friday, there were 2,002 new cases of Covid-19, with 354 people with the virus in hospital and 73 in ICU.

It was a significant jump in daily case figures compared to the previous few days when cases reported were below 1,000.

“The case number reflects an increased number of positive tests on specimens collected over the last three days,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said.

“However, the total number of Covid-19 cases reported in the last seven days (8,845 cases) is fewer than the previous 7 days (9,115 cases), with the 7-day moving average of daily cases at 1,264 today, compared to 1,302 a week ago,” he said.

“We will continue to monitor this situation closely to see if the trend in new infections over recent days is sustained."

Dr Glynn urged people to continue to follow public health advice.

"If you are experiencing a high temperature, dry cough, or flu like symptoms please stay at home - do not go to work or socialise.

"To keep yourself and your family safe please continue to regularly wash your hands, wear a mask when appropriate, open windows and ventilate indoor spaces, and choose outdoors where possible for meeting others."

In Northern Ireland, 1,274 positive cases and four deaths have been reported in the same 24-hour period.

Meanwhile, Ireland's 761,000-strong hospital waiting lists will be reduced by only 37,000 by the end of this year.

The HSE's winter action plan is to offer “150,000 additional appointments, procedures, and/or removals (from waiting lists) by December", which would barely cancel out the expected hike in waiting lists.

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There were almost 761,000 patients awaiting in-patient, outpatient or GI endoscopy treatment at the end of August.

The HSE warned that it rises to 875,000, if action was not taken.

It believes it can get the total down to 724,000 by the end of December by offering new appointments and validating the current waiting lists.

However, a new online Health Performance Visualisation platform will be used so staff can see stress points like bed shortages and overcrowded emergency departments.

The initiative is in partnership with the Department of Health and the National Treatment Purchase Fund, which released €100 million for this purpose last year.

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