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Delta variant continues to dominate; almost 1200 new COVID-19 cases reported in Ireland yesterday

DUBLIN: The number of confirmed corona virus cases per day in Ireland has once again crossed one thousand. Yesterday, the Department of Health reported 1,173 new COVID-19 cases. Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, who gave a strong warning about the imminent impact of the Delta variant, also admitted that the government does not yet know how severe the fourth wave of the virus will be. But he said they will boost the capacity of hospitals that could be under pressure.

Speaking in the Seanad, Mr. Donnelly said the Delta variant is “much more transmissible” than any other COVID-19 strain. He said there was a high rate of infection among those aged between 16 and 24 and a rapid increase in cases among those aged 24 to 29.

There are now 79 COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals, with 23 in intensive care units. Minister Donnelly said that the NPHET’s modelling predicts there will be around 200 people in ICU in a few months. He also warned that the virus might kill 335 to 1,760 people in the next three months.

Speaking about the reopening of indoor hospitality, Donnelly said: “Some advocate moving faster, opening fully or opening with testing. But that wouldn’t be safe right now. Others advocate keeping the sector closed. But how would that be fair to the women and men all over Ireland who have suffered for so long and who want to get back to work.

Mr. Donnelly said the legislation on indoor dining will allow thousands of people to return to work. “Nothing about this pandemic is easy. Not about it is fair. What we’ve got to do each time is find a way forward that works,” he added.

Chief medical officer Dr. Tony Holohan said unvaccinated people are at high risk of contracting COVID-19. Over half of the cases confirmed yesterday were in people aged 19 to 34, he said.

“We need those who are waiting for full vaccination to take every precaution this weekend and to adhere strongly to the public health advice as they await their vaccines,” Dr. Holohan said.

Vaccine registration for people aged 25 to 29 years old is now open on the HSE website.

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