'Virus has taken root in every single part of the country' - Dr Tony Holohan
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, has this evening warned that improvement in Covid-19 cases is not happening fast enough and that too many people are still not complying with public health advice.
Dr Holohan said:"This virus has taken root in every single part of the country. A significant percentage of the population - in excess of 1 in 10 in some counties - is currently either a case or a close contact. This is a huge burden of infection.
"When you consider that a significant percentage of our daily cases will directly lead to hospitalisation and mortality, the urgency with which we need to act becomes clear. By staying at home, you are protecting our health and social care services as they struggle against the enormous burden of infection that many weeks with thousands of daily cases of COVID-19 represents.
"The improvement in cases is not happening fast enough. Too many people are still not complying as fully as we need with the advice. There are early indications that we may be levelling off in terms of improvement, but at far, far too high a level of infection. The UK variant is very likely making our challenge more difficult.
"Please follow the public health advice. The safest place at the moment is at home. Please stay at home."
Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said: "Due to the nature of the mutation found in the UK variant of the virus, it is inevitable that it will become the dominant variant here in Ireland over time.
"The UK variant has adapted to us: simply put, it is better at moving from person to person when we come into contact. So what we must do is reduce its opportunities to spread by cutting out socialising. Stay home.
"Do not visit anyone else’s home. Do not attend illegal gatherings. Remember the simple and effective measures from springtime – wash your hands well and often, wear a mask, cough and sneeze into your elbow, keep 2 metres of space from others, and phone your GP at the very first sign of COVID-19 symptoms."
The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community. The dashboard also now includes information on total vaccines administered (1st dose).