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virus fears Nation split by Covid-19 rates as health experts fear Easter spread will lead to fourth wave

It comes as several popular holiday spots were reporting visitors yesterday as they observed more other-county registration numbers on cars.

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A paramedic at a pop-up test centre in Crumlin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collinjsw

A paramedic at a pop-up test centre in Crumlin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collinjsw

A paramedic at a pop-up test centre in Crumlin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collinjsw

COVID-19 has left the country divided this Easter as some counties are badly hit with the virus while other areas have much lower incidence.

Offaly, Donegal, Westmeath, Dublin and Meath have the highest 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population.

However, it is much lower in Kerry, Sligo, Kilkenny, Cork, Clare and Leitrim.

It comes amid ongoing concerns that socialising over the Easter holidays will lead to another rise in the spread of the virus and a consequent fourth wave.

Households are not allowed to mix for social reasons and the appeal is that if people do meet up they should do so outdoors, wearing masks and using social distancing.

Several popular holiday spots were reporting visitors yesterday as they observed more other-county registration numbers on cars.

There were eight more deaths from the virus yesterday and 591 newly diagnosed cases. However, the number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 fell to 264, with 62 seriously ill in intensive care.

Several vaccination centres will not operate today or tomorrow despite the urgency of the roll-out. They will resume on Easter Monday.

A new report from the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) has found the majority of European countries are facing problems with the inoculation roll-out.

The majority of responding countries reported difficulties with limited supply of vaccines, as well as frequent changes in timing of deliveries from producers, which can be unpredictable and can significantly affect planning and efficiency.

It said some nations avoid wastage by administering remaining doses to healthcare workers at the end of each session or set up reserve lists.

Shortages of staff to administer vaccines were raised by six countries, the report said.

One in three reported difficulties around a shortage of equipment needed for vaccination, specifically with a lack of dead-space syringes and needles to extract more doses from vaccine vials.

Others encountered problems reaching certain populations, especially individuals who have difficulties leaving their homes.

One in five had communication challenges related to misinformation around vaccines, which may affect acceptance.

Countries also reported challenges with communication about prioritising certain groups and the rationale behind this.


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