18 May 2022

Dr Holohan backs Electric Picnic but tells people to 'avoid crowds' in latest Covid-19 advice

Laois Council says nothing has changed in relation to Stradbally event

Opinion: Covid-19 pandemic bungling evident again in Electric Picnic process

Dr Tony Holohan urges people to avoid crowds but says they can go to the Picnic if it was a vaccine only event

Ireland's Chief Medical Officer has urged people to 'avoid crowds' a day after saying the Electric Picnic could go ahead if all 70,000 scheduled to attend were vaccinated against Covid-19.

Dr Tony Holohan made the comments on a day when more than 2,000 new cases of the disease were confirmed in a NPHET statement in which he said 'significant concerns' remain about the coronavirus Delta variant.

The National Public Health Emergency Team reported on Wednesday, August 25 that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre was notified of 2051* confirmed cases of COVID-19.  As of 8 am Wednesday, 323 COVID-19 patients were hospitalised, of which 56 are in ICU.

It was also confirmed that there has been a total of 5092 deaths related to COVID-19 notified in Ireland.

Dr Holohan commented on the latest figures.

“While we have increasing levels of vaccination across the population, we continue to have significant concerns over the Delta variant and the increase in the incidence of disease across a range of factors. Unfortunately, this variant is still circulating widely," he said.

He pointed to the importance of vaccination.

“Over 70% of cases are in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people and we are seeing a high incidence of COVID-19 in adults and teenagers aged 16-29. If you haven’t yet registered for your vaccine or have delayed receiving your second dose, please do so as soon as possible. We know that vaccines work. They are about 80% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 disease and they provide approximately 95% protection against hospitalisation," he said.

While he made clear in his Tuesday comments that vaccination means that the public events such as the Electric Picnic could happen, he said on Wednesday that vigilance remains important.

“It is very important that we remain vigilant and continue to follow the public health measures that we are all so familiar with. This is especially important for anyone who is soon to return to school and college.

“Continue to wear a mask, wash your hands properly and often, maintain a social distance, manage your contacts and avoid crowds,” he said.

Laois County Council has said it the public health advice has not changed that prevents the Electric Picnic happening in Stradbally in late September.


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