Covid: 17,065 new cases, 1,023 in hospital

There have been 17,065 new instances of Covid-19 reported by the Department of Health.

As of 8am, there have been 1,023 sufferers in hospital with the virus, a rise of 12 on the identical time yesterday.

It compares to a determine of 936 on today final week and 682 two weeks in the past.

Of these in hospital with Covid-19, 83 have been being handled in intensive care items, down 9 on the identical time yesterday.

Earlier the Deputy Chief Medical Officer has stated the National Public Health Emergency workforce is hopeful that "we are certainly coming close to the peak of this" [Omicron wave], if it has not but handed.

Dr Ronan Glynn stated there are grounds for optimism and issues are going in the suitable course.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, Dr Glynn stated yet one more week of information is required to conclude if Ireland has handed the height and NPHET can be assembly subsequent week.

He stated the measures on hospitality are considered one of a set in place to mitigate in opposition to the worst results of the present wave and that can all be checked out subsequent week.

Dr Glynn stated the newest modifications in public well being recommendation are in mild of NPHET'S understanding of Omicron, the significance of boosters, the influence they’ve seen on society and the well being service and what the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and others have stated.

The new guidelines, which got here into operation at midnight, ease restrictions on shut contacts, scale back the size of time that individuals with Covid-19 need to self-isolate, and finish the requirement for a PCR take a look at for these aged 39 and beneath who get a optimistic end result from an antigen take a look at.

Anyone who has Covid-19 now has to self-isolate for seven days, as a substitute of ten.

People who’ve obtained a booster vaccine and who’re recognized as shut contacts are not required to limit their actions, however as a substitute are suggested to put on a medical grade or FFP2 masks for ten days, and take common antigen assessments.

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Dr Glynn stated any discount of isolation or motion brings an elevated threat of transmission.

He additionally acknowledged that during the last whereas guidelines and steerage have develop into "very complex" and it was tough for folks to comply with.

"A core part of what we are trying to do here is to simplify it down," he stated.

Dr Glynn stated there was nothing to cease folks flexing the foundations to swimsuit themselves all through the pandemic, however the overwhelming majority take the general public well being recommendation on board.

"I am sure that is what the majority will continue to do in light of the current advice."

Meanwhile, the Health Service Executive's portal for folks to report optimistic antigen take a look at outcomes has opened.

HSE National Lead on Vaccination Damien McCallion stated folks can entry the portal by way of the HSE's web site and from there the shut contact particulars might be entered and that can circulate right into a administration system.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he stated the principle objective of the new system is to attempt seize "as many of the positive cases as possible" as up till now they have been exterior the system.

He stated it will additionally imply that shut contacts are given the suitable recommendation.

Mr McCallion stated they must wait and see if the portal for antigen assessments outcomes in a surge in numbers, however he stated undoubtedly there can be a distinction in the figures.

Mr McCallion stated though there was a giant improve in phrases of positivity charges in latest weeks, they’re seeing some modifications in latest days and stated referrals from GP practices have lowered.

He stated whereas it’s "early shoots they are things we would see as positive".

Hospitality will get 'first rate advance discover' on easing restrictions

The hospitality sector will get "decent advance notice" earlier than the easing of restrictions on closing instances, the Tánaiste has stated.

Leo Varadkar stated the plan is that the present restrictions would stay in place till the tip of January and the Government "would like to see hospital numbers falling before we feel comfortable about easing any restrictions."

He stated NPHET will meet on 20 January and the Government will decide "in the days after that."

"We should be able to give businesses that are restricted clear information and clarity about what will happen in February, well before February happens," he stated.

Focus on hospital and ICU numbers – Tánaiste

The Tánaiste stated the Government want to see ICU and hospital numbers falling earlier than it feels comfy about easing restrictions.

Leo Varadkar stated the plan is that the present restrictions will stay in place till 31 January with NPHET assembly on 20 January and it’ll advise Government at that time.

He stated they need to be capable to give companies which can be restricted clear data and readability about what is going to occur in February nicely earlier than February occurs.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail has stated that the Government is reviewing its place on the supply of free FFP2 masks.

However, Damien English burdened that the important thing message in the present day is that it is very important use these greater grade masks for the reason that requirement to isolate has been lowered.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, Mr English stated: "There will be a policy response to make sure that the masks are there, are available, should they be subsidised is something that was asked by Minister Stephen Donnelly yesterday. This will be reviewed by Government and kept in play," he stated.

Additional reporting Mary Regan

based mostly on website supplies

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