A further 1,377 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland with the positivity rate now at 8.4 per cent amid “very high levels” of testing, while the State is also reporting its highest five-day average of Covid-19 cases since the middle of February.
There are 78 coronavirus patients in Irish hospitals, with 22 in intensive care.
The last time the positivity rate, which is the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that return positive results, was above 8 per cent was on January 27th this year.
Paul Reid, chief executive of the HSE, said more than 5.1 million vaccines have now been administered to residents of the Republic, with 63 per cent of adults fully vaccinated and 76 per cent partially.
There are 78 people in hospital with Covid-19 on Saturday, with 22 of those in intensive care, according to the State’s Covid-19 data hub.
Mr Reid said on Saturday morning that hospital and intensive care admissions are “holding well”.
Meanwhile, deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said the national incidence of Covid has risen to more than 180 cases per 100,000 people, and the State is reporting a five-day average of more than 800 cases a day.
He said there is a particularly high incidence in people aged between 16 and 30, and the high case numbers are translating into increasing numbers in hospital and intensive care units.
Dr Glynn said 60 per cent of the adult population are fully vaccinated but over two-and-a-half million adults and children are not fully protected through vaccination, describing a “really big reservoir of people who are still vulnerable to this disease over the weeks to come”.
“A key message over the coming days is for people who are not vaccinated to really be careful about indoor settings, if at all possible meet up outdoors, make use of the good weather that we have at the moment,” he said.
“Do not meet up with other people indoors if you can avoid it at all, and if you are meeting with others indoors make sure that those areas are well ventilated, that windows are open.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) July 17, 2021
“And a key message for anyone is that if you have any symptoms at all of a cold or flu, including symptoms like a headache, sore throat, or if you have a runny nose, blocked nose, blocked sinuses, please come forward and get a test … isolate and get a test, don’t meet up with your friends, don’t go to work and don’t meet up with family members if you have any of those symptoms.”
Dr Glynn also appealed for anyone who is not yet vaccinated to come forward to receive the jab.
His comments come amid fears that the Republic could have up to 2,000 cases of coronavirus a day by the end of the month.
Although a surge on cases here had been anticipated due a combination of restrictions being eased and the impact of the Delta variant, the spike in infections is happening about two weeks sooner than anticipated and moving more quickly. – Additional reporting: PA