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Coronavirus ireland Record 26,122 new Covid cases confirmed but hospital numbers fall again

A total of 917 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised of which 83 are in intensive care units.

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There have been 26,122 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed by the Department of Health this afternoon.

As of 8am today, 917 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised of which 83 are in intensive care units.

This figure represents a drop of 24 coronavirus patients in hospital since Thursday.

Yesterday, HSE boss Dr Colm Henry has revealed that more than half of the 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.

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

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.

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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 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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