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latest figures 377 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed and 69 coronavirus patients in hospital

The Department of Health said 26 people are seriously ill in ICU

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Health Minister Stephen Donnelly got his jab on Saturday. Photo: Gareth Chaney

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly got his jab on Saturday. Photo: Gareth Chaney

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly got his jab on Saturday. Photo: Gareth Chaney

There have been 377 new cases of Covid-19 reported by the Department of Health this afternoon.

There are now 69 Covid-19 patients in Irish hospitals, of which 26 are in intensive care units.

It comes as Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed yesterday that over the course of the bank holiday weekend, “we are hitting 3m vaccine doses administered”.

In a video address, the Minister said all workers involved in the vaccination programme deserve “huge praise” and he described it as an amazing achievement.

“We have had a huge response from everyone who is eligible for the vaccine so far.”

Minister Donnelly said “incredible work” has gone into maintaining the pace of the rollout.

He said: “To those that isn’t yet eligible, let me promise you, let me assure you that we are doing everything we can to make sure that you get an option for a vaccine as soon as possible.”

In a video posted on social media he added: “We are getting them out the doors as soon as they come in and we will get to you as soon as is possible.”

Everyone from the ages of 40 to 69 can now register for their first dose via the online vaccination portal. Mr Donnelly received his first dose on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a pop-up test centre has opened in Carlow due to a spike in Covid-19 cases.

A temporary walk-in centre is being operated out of Tullow Health Centre today for the bank holiday.

The facility is open from 11am to 7pm today, even for those who have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

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Locals can also continue to walk-up to the test centres in Carlow town and Kilkenny city without any appointment.

Dr Carmel Mullaney, HSE Director of Public Health in the South-east, explained that the case numbers in Tullow are “too high” from anecdotal evidence so they want as many people as possible to go and get tested.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is reporting between 300 and 600 new cases of Covid-19 daily but the figures for Carlow and Kilkenny are not fully available since the ransomware attack on the HSE IT services.

Dr Mullaney added: “People can turn up with no appointment being needed. It’s free. Those under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

“They will also need a photo ID and a mobile number.”

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