Fall in Covid hospital numbers offers ‘great hope’, says HSE chief

The latest Covid-19 data suggests Ireland can feel “great hope”, the HSE chief has said.

aul Reid said on Saturday that “a consistent set of Covid-19 trends give great hope”.

He added that the number of people in hospital with the virus has fallen to 940.


Paul Reid (Brian Lawless/PA)

The number of people in hospital had risen above 1,000 in recent days, prompting concern among health officials.

Mr Reid tweeted: “Fewer patients on oxygen support. GP referrals & overall cases down.

“Booster vaccines and the public’s response have so far eased the worst impacts.”

He again urged people to get a booster jab.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said on Friday that he was hopeful Covid-19 restrictions could be removed at the end of the month, allowing events and the hospitality sector to open after 8pm.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is meeting next Thursday and will advise Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on current restrictions.

Mr Martin said the country is making progress against the Omicron variant.

“I would hope that we would be in a position to move forward in terms of the current restrictions but I’m not in a position yet to say anything definitive about that,” he said on Friday.

“I want to really see what the public health people are saying, and also having a sense of where Omicron is.”

Since Friday, close contacts who have had their booster jab and do not have any symptoms no longer have to isolate.

They have been advised to wear higher grade masks and to continue taking regular antigen tests.

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