Omi-rise | 

Leo Varadkar takes to social media to highlight the prevalence of Omicron variant growth

The graphic shows that in the last 24 hours there have been 5,124 positive Covid tests
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA)

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA)

Clodagh Meaney

Leo Varadkar has highlighted how Omicron has spread, and it’s effect on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taking to Twitter, the Tánaiste shared a graphic with the latest figures from Covid testing in Ireland.

“Omicron beginning to show in the figures, unfortunately,” he said.

“Highest daily number of positive laboratory swabs since January if not ever.”

The graphic shows that in the last 24 hours there have been 5,124 positive Covid tests, which is a 15.76% positivity across 32,513 tests taken.

Meanwhile the 7 day test positivity is 14.4%

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It comes as professor of immunology at Dublin City University Christine Loscher said that the Omicron variant will become the dominant strain in Ireland within the next week.

The highly infectious Omicron variant now accounts for 27% of new Covid-19 infections, the HSE warned on Thursday. On Tuesday, Omicron made up 11% of cases.

Just over one week ago, that number was at less than 1%.

"If there's nothing else that we do in the next 10 days before Christmas, everything has to go into maximising the number of boosters that we get into arms in the next two weeks,” Professor Christine Loscher told Newstalk Breakfast.

"Omicron has accelerated much more quickly than we thought, and we do know that that third dose is vital to controlling case numbers.”

“We will definitely have dominance in the next 10 days.”

"We don't know enough to not be concerned - but I think there is good optimistic data that it may be milder, and that may be a good thing for us.”

Last night, Nphet issued new recommendations to the Government calling for all indoor events to finish at 5pm and to be capped at 50 per cent capacity in a bid to stop the spread of the Omicron variant.

Some TDs have opposed the measures, however, other ministers have admitted that the transmissibility of the Omicron variant may leave the Coalition no choice but to accept the recommendations of the public health team.

The Cabinet has not yet announced plans to implement the measures, but are expected to do so before the end of the day.

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