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Covid latest Retirees 'socialising as much as young people' says expert as 5,959 Covid cases confirmed

HSE ‘taking all mitigating actions’ in Covid fight


Health Service Executive chief executive Paul Reid (Photocall Ireland/PA)

Health Service Executive chief executive Paul Reid (Photocall Ireland/PA)

Health Service Executive chief executive Paul Reid (Photocall Ireland/PA)

A further 5,959 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed with 640 people in hospital, as the HSE’s Paul Reid said they are “taking all mitigating actions” as the country copes with the surge.

Of the hospitalised, 121 are in intensive care.

Paul Reid, in a tweet on Saturday morning, said: “We’re surging across the whole health system and taking all mitigating actions.

“We value and appreciate everyone’s support.”

Mr Reid, chief executive of the HSE, said there are currently 640 patients in hospital with Covid-19.

As of Saturday morning, 118 people are in intensive care.

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A booster programme is currently being rolled out by the HSE, with 550,000 jabs administered so far.

Health officials have in recent days expressed concern about the potential for a further rise in Covid-19 cases and the crippling effect it could have on the fragile health system.

Some hospitals already foresee the cancellation of elective treatments in the coming days as pressure builds.

Meanwhile, A leading behavioural economist has said that older people are as socially active as young people.

The Head of the ESRI's Behavioural Research Unit Pete Lunn, said there is a perception in society that younger people are taking more risks than older people, “but that simply isn’t true”.

“Older adults are, at the moment, as socially active as younger adults - particularly retired people actually. There’s a group of retired people who are very socially active and have a lot of social contacts.

“The reason that comes as across as so odd is because young people’s social activity is so visible, with people you see on the streets and in the bars when you’re out and about - whereas the social activity of older people is less visible,” he said.

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Mr Lunn added that public’s fear of case numbers dropped considerably during the summer as the vaccine roll-out kicked into gear and that based on ERSI data, people are currently most concerned about their loved ones and the pressure on the health service.

Meanwhile, Mr Lunn said an ERSI survey of a representative group – which was carried out this week - found that 48pc of people were in favour of more restrictions, 38pc were against additional restrictions and the rest were undecided.

On Friday night, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “Anyone who is going to get Covid-19 in December has not yet been infected.

“Their infection is not inevitable and there is still time to prevent it by small changes in our behaviour.”

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