James Ward, PA

Unvaccinated people have been urged to stay vigilant against Covid-19 after the highest daily case total since February.

The Department of Health confirmed there had been 783 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland in the past 24 hours on Wednesday.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has urged people not to bring children into indoor dining settings.


He told a public health briefing  on Wednesday: “You don’t have to go indoors. We know that Delta transmission among children can happen.”

He added: “For people who are not vaccinated, we can see a significant change in the path to infection, and we’ve been saying for some time that this infection represents a risk to them.

“You must be very cautious and at the very minimum try to differentiate for yourself between those activities that we would regard as high risk activities.

“Things that are indoor, where there’s poor ventilation, where there’s crowding and things like  that, to recognise those features.

“If you’re not vaccinated you need to stay away from those.”

He said people who are still waiting for their vaccines “need to stay away from those kinds of environments” and confine their activities to the outdoors, continue using masks and maintain social distancing.

But he said that such measures could be dropped in the autumn.

‘Not far away’

“Your vaccine is not far away. We think we need to keep this up for another period of time that will take us into probably September, when we get to levels of vaccination that will allow us to look again at the need for these kinds of arrangements to be maintained.”

As of 8am on Wednesday, there were 73 patients in hospital with the disease, of whom 20 were in intensive care units.

There were 13 additional hospital admissions in the last 24 hours.

Deputy CMO Dr Ronan Glynn said there was “no question” that the Delta variant was having an impact on the high levels of transmission being seen.

He added: “Delta also appears to be presenting with a different variety of symptoms than we have seen with other variants, including headache, sore throat and blocked or runny nose.

“If you have any symptoms of a cold or flu it is vital that you isolate immediately and arrange a test.”

Nphet’s modelling expert Professor Philip Nolan said it is not yet clear how the higher case count will translate into admissions to hospitals and intensive care units.

He added: “Unfortunately we are seeing the beginnings of an increased number of people in hospital, going from 45 over the seven days preceding this day two weeks ago, to about 50 on average up to Wednesday last week and to 60 on average this week.

“At the same time, the number of admissions per day is increasing from a very stable six admissions per day, to eight or nine per day and trending upwards.

“Similarly, while the numbers in intensive care had been very stable, just in the last week, they’ve begun to trend upwards.

“Seventeen on average over the last seven days, 20 today.

“I’ve heard I heard some comments recently that many of those have been in ICU for a very long period of time, that’s largely not true.

“We’ve 20 people in intensive care right now, 10 of those were admitted in the last 10 days, and the length of stay in intensive care hasn’t got longer.”

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