Ireland could potentially be facing a new Covid-19 wave as hospital numbers rise
Figures show the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital has risen from 181 in May 29 to 232 yesterday
The first signals that Ireland could potentially be facing a new Covid-19 wave have emerged.
New Covid-19 variants of concern circulating here may be among the factors impacting infections with a rise in the positivity rate and hospital admissions as fewer people also wear facemasks.
Figures show the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital has risen from 181 on May 29 to 232 yesterday.
The seven day positivity rate for people who are going for PCR tests has also gone up to 16.7pc compared to 12.6pc a week earlier.
This does not include people who are positive after a home antigen test.
It comes as variants of concern BA.4 and BA.5, which are more offshoots of Omicron and more transmissible than BA.2, which has been dominant in recent months, have gained greater ground here .
The number of patients with Covid-19 in intensive care stood at 21 yesterday, a number which fluctuated last week but is remaining stable.
It now appears the country could potentially see another rise in cases although the extent is still not clear and the warm weather along with outdoor activity should help.
Any further disruption to hospitals will be a setback as they get back to treating a backlog of elective cases following serious levels of slow down in the early months of the year, compounded by a large influx of patients through emergency departments.
It comes as the latest ESRI study on social activity from May 7 to May 24 shows there has been a significant fall in the wearing of masks and keeping a two metre distance. Half the population now report rarely or never engaging in mitigative behaviours.
The number of people from other households that individuals met rose significantly.
The decline in worry was also observed when looking at the proportion of people who reported high-levels of worry although one-in-three remain highly worried.
Wellbeing among all adults aged under 60 has followed an upward trend since February.
There is strong "return to normal" on pre-pandemic levels of exercise and socialising, but less so among those who remain highly worried about the virus.
The proportion of people who reported that they are exercising – going for a walk, playing sport, other exercise or socialising , such as going to a café, restaurant or pub or visiting friends, less than before than the pandemic has fallen, compared to when these measures were first recorded in October 2021.
A majority reported now exercising the same or more than before the pandemic, with about half the population socialising as often or more.
The one-in-three who reported being highly worried about the virus are less likely to have returned to their pre-pandemic levels of activity.
Exercising and socialising less than before the pandemic is associated with low levels of wellbeing.
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