Plan to extend emergency measures in the face of increasing cases
The Ministry of Health has been informed of 3,726 new cases of Covid-19, which is the highest number reported since mid-January of this year.
The number of people infected with the virus hospitalized is 493, down 22 from yesterday.
Of these, 90 are in intensive care, one less than yesterday.
It is not clear if today’s case count includes a backlog of some reported cases. The increase is not unexpected and had been predicted by public health experts.
In a statement, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said Covid-19 is circulating widely in the community, but that they have the tools to limit its spread.
“We know that vaccination is very effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalizations and I urge anyone who still needs to be vaccinated against Covid to do so.
“We also know that, even when vaccinated, we still need to practice basic public health interventions – washing our hands, opening windows, wearing masks and, most importantly, staying home when we have symptoms.
“These simple measures are very successful in breaking the chains of transmission of this disease.
“As we put all elements of public health advice into practice, we protect ourselves and our communities. “
At Dáil earlier today, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly called the situation serious and said hospitals were “getting fuller”.
The minister said “we have to be concerned that things will deteriorate further” as he proposed to expand emergency legislation providing for face masks, Covid-19 passes, enforcement powers and fixed penalty notices.
The laws were due to expire on Nov. 9, but Mr Donnelly offered to extend them for three months until Feb. 9, and he urged TDs to support the motion.
The Dáil will vote on this tomorrow evening.
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Mr Donnelly had accused his colleagues of acting recklessly in expressing their opposition to the extension of emergency powers.
Several TDs, including Michael Healy-Rae, opposed it and said the minister’s accusation was “undemocratic”.
Sinn Féin Health spokesman David Cullinane said he opposed extensions as circumstances had changed since the legislation was introduced.
He said he was opposed in principle to extending emergency powers almost two years after the start of the pandemic.
Waterford TD said they were rightly seen as draconian and it was time they were no longer needed.
Earlier, the Taoiseach said there was no guarantee that the Covid-19 restrictions would not be reintroduced, with modeling from the National Public Health Emergency Team suggesting the current increase in cases will reach a peak at the end of this month.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Micheál Martin said the increase in cases right now was “of great concern”.
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Mr Martin said the use of antigen testing is increasing and if people “remain collectively cautious, we can avoid having to go back to restrictions.”
The Health Service Executive said it has mailed 6,976 antigen test kits to people who are close contacts of a confirmed case.
The kits are intended for people who are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms.
Mr Martin also said he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, who told him that Israel’s recall campaign had been “very successful and impacting” on the latest wave of the virus there. -low.
Mr Martin said “no one can guarantee anything” but the vaccines work and Ireland was in a different position than last year.
Additional reports Mícheál Lehane, Fergal Bowers