Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer and head of NPHET
NPHET meets Government leaders on Monday to discuss Ireland's Covid-19 situation and what new restrictions might be needed to stem the recent surge and respond to the Omicon variant.
In a statement released at the weekend, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said while there is much attention on new variants, the incidence of the Delta variant remains 'too high' in Ireland.
"We all know the actions to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering, meeting others outdoors where possible, and when indoors, opening windows and ensuring good ventilation, and keeping your distance." he added.
Dr Holohan said the NPHET Epidemiological Surveillance Team met over the weekend to monitor the new variant and regulations are being drawn up to give effect to the new travel and home quarantine policies.
He advised that anyone who has travelled from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, or Zimbabwe to Ireland since November 1 to isolate and travellers are required to take a PCR test regardless of symptom status.
The UK implemented new travel rules recently after the emergence of the Omricon variant. All travellers into the UK are required to take a PCR test on their second day of arrival and are required to self-isolate until they test negative for the virus.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney was 'happy to receive confirmation' the new UK travel rules would not affect the Common Travel Area, which includes Britain, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the Channel Islands.
Speaking on Newstalk, Spokesperson for the World Health Organisation Dr. Margaret Harris said there are more questions than answers regarding the Omicon variant.
"If you do not vaccinate the most at-risk groups all around the world at the same time, you give the virus an opportunity to transmit itself a lot, reproduce itself a lot, and therefore develop a better variant."
As of Monday morning, November 29, there are 578 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in hospitals. As of yesterday, there were 117 people in ICU and 3,735 confirmed Covid-19 cases.
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