Politics

1,586 more cases as incidence among children falls

A further 1,586 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State, with 298 people in hospital and 56 of those in intensive care.

Some 7,216,565 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in Ireland, with 92.8 per cent of the population over 18 receiving at least one dose, and 91.3 per cent fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the incidence of Covid-19 among school-age children has “fallen right back”, demonstrating that the classroom is a safe environment, the chief medical officer of the Health Service Executive has said.

Dr Tony Holohan said there are “encouraging indicators” seen in the incidence of the virus among children, and particularly those in primary school. The rate of the virus in these age groups has “fallen right back down as we predicted and expected”, he said in a video message published on Saturday afternoon.

This decline echoes “exactly” what was seen in earlier stages of the pandemic, he said, adding: “It continues to show that the school environment [… ]is a safe and appropriate environment.” The public health measures are helping to preserve and protect the ongoing provision of education, “which is really encouraging”, Dr Holohan said.

He praised the uptake of vaccination across all eligible age groups, saying: “We have seen that the number of cases has stabilised somewhat in recent weeks.” Vaccination remains the “best means of protection” against the virus, said Dr Holohan.

“Even though over 90 per cent of people over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated, there are still some people out there who are not vaccinated. If you are one of those people, or if you have influence over people who have yet to be fully vaccinated or have their second dose, now is the right time to come forward for that vaccination,” he added.

It is “really important” that children do not attend school and adults refrain from going into workplaces if experiencing cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, headache or temperature, Dr Holohan went on.

“It’s really important that you don’t go to work, that you don’t go to school. You don’t go out socialising or invite other people into your home if you have symptoms,” he added.

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