The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 3,793 confirmed cases of Covid-19. As of 8am today, 578 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 117 are in ICU.
Dr Tony Holohan, the chief medical officer of the department of health said today’s notification of a confirmed case of the SARS-CoV-2 Variant B.1.1.529 (Omicron) should not change how we are responding to the public health measures that are already in place.
'The best mitigation we have against transmission of this virus, regardless of the variant, are the public health measures that we are so familiar with and more importantly, that we know will work,' he said.
'For at least the next two weeks, if we can all make a concerted effort to reduce our contacts, then I am hopeful that we can make a real difference to incidence of disease in Ireland.
'There is no group who should feel the public health advice does not apply to them. It is only if we act together that we can keep ourselves, our loved ones and health and social care facilities safe.
'As we look to the month ahead, consider your choices and make the right ones. Do not go into work tomorrow if you can work from home. If you are an employer, facilitate remote working for your employees.
'It is vital that if you experience any symptoms of Covid-19, you isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test – not an antigen test. Do not go to work, school, college or socialise if you are symptomatic.
'If you do choose to socialise, think about the risk associated with the activities you have planned. Remember the simple steps you can take to keep both you and the people you meet with safe:
- wear a mask correctly
- meet outside if possible
- avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces
- practice good hand and respiratory hygiene
'Be mindful of your contacts in the days after socialising, and especially consider anyone you meet who may be immunocompromised or vulnerable to Covid-19.'