‘Get out there and participate in society’ says Dr Tony Holohan as four further deaths and 434 more Covid-19 cases confirmed

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Ciara O'Loughlin

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan is encouraging people to “get out there and participate in society” as four further deaths and 434 more Covid-19 cases were confirmed today.

This brings the total number of cases in the State to 251,904 and the total number of coronavirus-related fatalities to 4,918.

As restrictions ease on May 10, Dr Holohan said people should participate in society, especially those who are vaccinated, however, public health measures must be adhered to.

“As we move into May 10, we encourage people to continue measures to protect themselves but to get out there and participate in society,” he said at today’s Nphet briefing.

Deputy CMO Dr Ronan Glynn said the country is continuing to see a decrease in hospitalisations due to the virus and “thankfully we have seen a significant reduction in mortality in the past weeks.”

Speaking at the briefing, member of Nphet’s GP liaison committee Dr Ray Walley has asked the public not to directly contact their GPs asking for a vaccine.

“It’s tremendous seeing our elderly and vulnerable fully vaccinated,” he said.

“One message I would like to get out there is as we have received supply for a very particular cohort for patients that fall into clinical categories or age categories, we cannot accommodate all requests for vaccines.

“We must operate under these guidelines and ask people to not contact your GP requesting vaccines at this point in time.

“Specifically we are not vaccinating anyone between 60 and 69 and only some clinically vulnerable patients in the 50 to 59 age group.

“We encourage all those who are eligible to register on the HSE portal. It is still the case that the first vaccine you are offered is the best one yet.”

Speaking today, HSE boss Paul Reid said the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is at a point of “very strong momentum”.

He added that he's never felt a stronger moment of “hope and optimism” than he does now.

One in three people in the country have been vaccinated with a first dose and one in eight have had two doses, according to the HSE chief executive.

“I’ve certainly never felt a stronger moment of hope and optimism than we do feel now and it is grounded, not just on optimism, it is grounded based on evidence,” Mr Reid said on RTE Radio 1's Morning Ireland.

He said the health service is seeing reduced hospital admissions, reduced ICU admissions and reduced mortality, all directly correlated to the vaccination programme for those who have been vaccinated.

Asked whether one million vaccine doses will be administered in the month of May, Mr Reid said that despite about 40,000 fewer doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine being delivered, supplies overall were strong.

“We’re down about 40,000 for the month,” he said.

“It was a delivery of approximately 140,000 down to about 100,000 but we will still hopefully expect them to make that up.”

He said more than 46,000 doses of vaccine were administered in Ireland on Thursday, the highest number of vaccines administered in a single day.

“We’re now on a regular basis, beginning to hit over 40,000 each day,” he said.

"So we’re really at the point of very strong momentum to give the public confidence.”

Today's Headlines

More News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices