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05 Jul 2022

Christmas plans change because of Covid-19 says Dr Tony Holohan #omicron

But more than 6,000 new cases and 55 deaths notified

BREAKING: National Covid-19 case numbers confirmed as CMO acknowledges 'big sacrifice' already made

Christmas plans have changed says Dr Holohan

Irish people have cut back on social contacts and reviewed their Christmas plans according to the Chief Medical Officer who nevertheless reminded people that Covid-19 will be circulating at a very high level over the Festive Season. 

Dr Tony Holohan made the comments on a day when the Health Protection Surveillance Centre notified of 6,307 newly confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The HSE say that as of 8am today, 429 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 100 are in ICU.

NPHET also confirmed that there has been a total of 5,890 deaths related to COVID-19 notified in Ireland. This includes 55 deaths newly notified in the past week (since last Wednesday).

Dr Holohan said surveys show that people have responded by altering their behaviours and plans.

“Our recent research has shown that many people have reviewed their plans for Christmas, reduced their social contacts and changed or postponed plans in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. This is a big sacrifice that many have made and will do much to protect all of us over the festive period. 

“It is important that we remember that COVID-19 will still be circulating at a high level after Christmas and into the New Year, and even though it is a difficult message to hear, we must all continue to keep our social contacts low and do all we can to continue to adhere to the public health advice. 

“We know that our young people are making a really big effort to act responsibly and to follow the public health advice and I would like to thank them for their significant efforts. It is really important that we all remember that there is no one person or group or thing to blame in the situation we find ourselves in other, than the COVID-19 virus," he said.

Dr Holohan said the booster take up is promising.

“Booster vaccination is accelerating across the country and the images we see of people queuing for their vaccine, prioritising that appointment before Christmas are heartening. Please stick with all of the measures that we know work as we move through the next few difficult weeks, including attending for vaccination," he said.

The head of NPHET reminded people about what they should do if they think they have the virus. 

“If you display any symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, then self-isolate and arrange a PCR test as soon as you can. This is the single most important piece of basic public health advice. Do not meet up with others and put them at risk of COVID-19 or another respiratory infection. Do not rely on a negative antigen test as a basis for not isolating,” he said.

He outlined the following pointers.

Layer up on the basic measures to protect you and your loved ones from infection:

  • practise social distancing
  • work from home, where possible
  • avoid crowds
  • ensure indoor spaces and public transport are ventilated (open windows)
  • hand and respiratory hygiene
  • use face masks
  • stay at home and isolate if you experience symptoms

In anticipation of large volumes of case numbers over the coming period, NPHET says that from December 22, the daily case number announced will be based on positive SARS-CoV-2 results uploaded to the HSE COVID Care Tracker the preceding day.

It adds that these data are provisional and do not represent notified cases. HPSC and surveillance partners will continue to notify and process cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 on CIDR over this period.

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