THE Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 4,688 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
The Department of Health can confirm that 8 additional cases of the Omicron variant have been detected, bringing to 18 the total number of cases that have been identified following whole genome sequencing.
As of 8am today, 518 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 108 are in ICU.
Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, Department of Health said: ‘Today we are reporting a further 8 cases of Omicron variant, confirmed by whole genome sequencing, bringing the total confirmed in Ireland to 18. Possible Omicron cases can be identified by the number of PCR results with 'S gene target failure' – just as we did when the alpha variant emerged a year ago. Using this methodology, we estimate that 11% of cases are now due to the Omicron variant, an increase from less than 1% only one week ago.
‘While evidence on disease severity and immune escape is still emerging, it is clear this variant is more transmissible. We are hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. Over the coming days and weeks global health authorities will learn more about this variant and the risks it poses. In the meantime, we continue to have confidence in the basic measures to reduce transmission.’
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