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1,466 new cases with 70% of people being treated for Covid in ICUs not fully vaccinated

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Health officials have confirmed that there have been a further 1,466 confirmed cases of Covid-19 reported today.

The Department of Health said that 402 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 73 are in intensive care.

It comes as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer confirmed that around 70% of Covid patients in ICUs have not been fully vaccinated, something that is a “significant cause for concern”.

Dr Ronan Glynn warned that in recent days health officials have seen “an increasing number of people with Covid-19 admitted to hospital” and to intensive care.

Dr Glynn said: “Vaccination, along with our continuing adherence to the public health advice, will break the chains of transmission and drive down incidence of Covid-19 in our communities.

“If you display any symptoms of Covid-19 including a high temperature, dry cough, or flu-like symptoms – please stay at home. Do not go to work, school, college or socialise.”

The deputy CMO urged people who haven’t been vaccinated to get the jab at “as soon as possible to best protect yourself and those around you from Covid-19.”

Dr Glynn’s comments come as the HSE’s National Lead for Testing and Tracing said that the service will continue “well into next year” with thousands of staff remaining involved.

In the long term, testing and tracing would be embedded into the health system as it would be needed “for some time to come” Niamh O’Beirne said.

Ms O’Beirne was speaking on RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show as the positivity rate for Covid-19 in the community has started to rise to its current level of 10%, with counties Kerry and Waterford reporting rates of up to 15% and a rate of 13% in the border counties Monaghan and Donegal.

Meanwhile, Dr Glynn has also called on the public to avail of the flu vaccine.

“Continue to regularly wash hands, wear a mask when appropriate – particularly in retail settings, on public transport and in healthcare settings; keep your distance, open windows and ventilate indoor spaces, and choose outdoors where possible for meeting others.

“This suite of measures will help stop the transmission of Covid-19, seasonal influenza, common colds and other respiratory illnesses that are more prevalent over the winter months.”

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