THE Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 3,735 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
As of 8am today, 566 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 117 are in ICU.
Daily case numbers may change due to future data validation.
Meanwhile, Nphet (the National Public Health Emergency Team) has issued the following statement today, in respect of the new variant known as Omicron:
‘While not formally notified by European Alert Systems, the Department of Health is aware of media reports of the new variant SARS-CoV-2 Variant B.1.1.529 (Omicron) cases in the UK, Italy, Germany, and Belgium.
A series of initial measures have been put in place to mitigate against the arrival of this variant to Ireland.
The Nphet epidemiological team are meeting regularly over the weekend to monitor the situation and are currently considering further required measures.
Measures currently in place include:
Ireland will align with the EU Recommendation to apply the ‘emergency brake’ in respect of the countries concerned (ie Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe) and discourage travel to/from these countries.
The Department of Justice is updating visa requirements for those countries.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has changed its travel advisory to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ to these countries.
Irish residents returning home from these countries will be required to undergo strict home quarantine regardless of vaccine/recovery/test status, and undergo PCR testing during quarantine.
Regulations are being drawn up urgently to give effect to the new travel and home quarantine policies.
The Department of Transport has engaged with carriers to ensure that all relevant pre-departure requirements (Covid certificate, PCR test evidence, passenger locator forms) are rigorously complied with.
The Department of Justice is arranging increased BMU spot-checking of passengers on arrival.
Mandatory hotel quarantine options are being examined on a contingency basis.
The situation regarding this new variant will be kept under continuous review by all relevant bodies.’