NPHET Meeting on Omicron and “Consideration of Measures”


The health ministry said the NPHET epidemiological team met regularly over the weekend to monitor the Omicron variant situation in Europe and “are currently reviewing what additional measures are required.”

In a statement tonight, the department said that although it has been “formally notified by European warning systems”, it is aware of media reports of cases of Omicron present in the UK, in Italy, Germany and Belgium.

He said a series of mitigation measures, outlined by the government yesterday, have been put in place to mitigate the arrival of the variant in Ireland.

Meanwhile, the government will have to wait until it knows the risks posed by the new variant before considering whether new restrictions should be introduced, the Green Party leader said.

Speaking at his party’s annual conference in Dublin, Eamon Ryan said the government must continue to follow public health advice and keep doing what it does.

“Many of the lessons learned over the past two years will continue to apply,” he said.

He said this included wearing face masks on public transport and social distancing.

“It’s not a complete reboot or a complete change. It’s just learning from what we’ve done well.”

Today, 4,791 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported by the Department of Health.

The number of people with Covid-19 treated in hospitals across the country has fallen by 35.

There were 536 Covid patients in hospitals at 8 a.m. this morning – up from 571 at the same time yesterday morning. There have been 65 discharges in the past 24 hours.

121 of these patients are being treated in intensive care units, an increase of three from yesterday morning.

1,482 cases of Covid-19 have been reported by the Northern Ireland Department of Health, while two patients who previously tested positive for Covid-19 have died.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 walk-in booster vaccination clinics are operational in several counties, for healthcare workers and people aged 60 to 69, the HSE said.

It was announced yesterday that booster vaccines will be offered to anyone aged 16 and over, following new recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NIAC).

The NIAC recommended a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine – Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna – first for pregnant women aged 16 and over; then for 40-49 year olds, followed by 16-39 year olds in descending order.

According to the chief medical officer, the Covid-19 situation in Ireland remains “vulnerable” to further deterioration.

Yesterday, Dr Tony Holohan said factors – including levels of social contact “during the holiday season” – will determine the number of cases in the coming weeks and months.


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