05/08/2021

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NPHET and Dr Tony Holohan sounds new siren about Covid-19 Delta varian as pandemic death toll hits 5,000

Dr Tony Holohan coronavirus covid-19

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health

Dr Tony Holohan and his expert colleagues on NPHET have sounded the warning siren about the 'rapidly' changing spread of the Delta variant of the Covid-19 which has now claimed 5,000 lives in Ireland.

The Chief Medical Officer made the statement in the latest release from the National Public Health Emergency Team which shows that there have been 448 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

As of 8am, July 1, it said 44 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 14 are in ICU. 12 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours. 

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, commented on Delta data.

“We are all concerned about the rapidly changing transmission arising from the Delta variant. However, we know that the basic public health measures will work in protecting people. And we know that all the vaccines offer significant protection against transmitting the disease and in how severe it is for those who pick it up. 

“We must not forget to keep up the basic measures; wash hands, wear a mask where appropriate, avoid crowds, meet outdoors, keep distance and take a vaccine when it is offered to you. These remain the vital protections for those who are awaiting their turn to be vaccinated,” he said. 

NPHET number cruncher Professor Philip Nolan is Chair of the Team's Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group. He gave the latest on the rising rate of spread.

“We have seen an increase in incidence over the last ten days, raising the concern that we are in the early phase of an increase driven by the Delta variant. Incidence is growing at 2% per day, reproduction number is now above 1; estimated at 1.0 to 1.2. Delta is much more transmissible, and it is vital we continue the basic measures to prevent transmission while the vaccination programme rapidly gives us all protection from the virus,” he said. 

 Dr. Cillian De Gascun, Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, gave an insight into the impact.

“The prevalence of Delta in the community is increasing, but its effect on hospitalisations and severe illness is still emerging. We do know it is the most transmissible strain of COVID-19 to date. Emerging evidence from the UK shows Delta roughly doubled the risk of hospitalisation. As proven throughout the pandemic, monitoring evidence and timely action protects us all,” he said.

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community including daily data on Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.  

It shows that there have been 272,784 cases to date while total deaths have reached 5,000. The figure includes probable and possible deaths.

The cyber attack on the HSE in May has meant local and county data for the disease are among the pandemic figures are no longer available.

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