Omicron wave | 

Coronavirus Ireland: 21,926 new cases confirmed as 936 people in hospital

A total of 936 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 84 are in ICU
Stock image

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Niall Donald

There have been 21,926 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed by the Department of Health this afternoon.

As of 8am today, 936 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 84 are in ICU.

The figures represent a decrease on yesterday's total when a record of 23,817 cases were reported.

There has also been a slight fall in the number of people hospitalised with the virus from yesterday's figure of 941, of whom 90 were in ICU.

Earlier today, HSE boss Dr Colm Henry has revealed that more than half of the 90 people currently in intensive care in hospital are unvaccinated against Covid-19.

The HSE’s chief clinical officer said that while only five per cent of the eligible population are unvaccinated, they account for more than 50 per cent of those in ICU.

"I know people will say it's unfair to focus [on these numbers] but these are facts, these aren't opinions,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

Dr Henry added that the current wave of Omicron, with record numbers being beaten each day, is having a huge impact on hospital staffing levels.

"We're seeing this huge surge in cases right across Europe, right across the world,” he said.

All 5- to 11-year-olds will be offered a primary dose of Covid-19 vaccine from tomorrow.

The paediatric vaccination programme for this age group has already been underway for those who have a health condition which puts them at risk of severe illness from Covid-19 or who live with someone who is at higher risk from the virus.

They were offered a vaccine in hospital settings, and since Monday, vaccination was available to this group by appointment in vaccination centres.

The Department of Health said this afternoon that from tomorrow – Saturday- all 5 to 11 year olds will be offered the primary dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced a change to testing and self-isolation policies (Damien Eagers/PA)

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced a change to testing and self-isolation policies (Damien Eagers/PA)

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: "Over the Christmas period, we reported the highest daily numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases. As we wait for more evidence to emerge on the severity of infection with the Omicron variant, it is important that we continue to encourage all of those eligible for vaccination to come forward.”

Separately, it has emerged that Dr Holohan urged the Government to have “clear communications” to the public over New Year’s Eve festivities that they should “strictly limit” social contacts to “the most essential”.


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