The chief medical officer says he’s ‘concerned’ the spread of Covid-19 is rising once again.
It’s after 429 cases were recorded yesterday, less than two weeks after level 5 restrictions were lifted. 18 of them in Kilkenny and 8 in Carlow.
The estimated 14-day incidence rate of the disease has risen to 84 per 100,000 – up from a low of 78. However, Kilkenny’s is 198.5 with Carlow’s at 159.8 with both remaining in the top four counties.
The average number of cases in the past five days across the country’s also risen above 300, compared to 288 a week ago.
Professor Emer Shelley, from the Royal College of Physicians, says it’s very worrying.
There are no figures available as of yet (at 6:30am Monday) with regards to the numbers of patients with Covid19 in Irish hospitals.
The most recent show 30 in St Luke’s Hospital on Saturday night with a further suspected case while there were 11 being treated for the virus in University Hospital Waterford with two more thought to be infected.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer says nothing about the development of a Covid19 vaccine suggests shortcuts have been taken.
Dr Ronan Glynn says trust and transparency is the cornerstone of the Department of Health’s approach to ensuring people get the injection when they are eligible.
It’s been less than 12 months since Covid19 was reported to the World Health Organisation, and already there are a number of candidate vaccines – while the Phizer Bio-N-Tech shot is already being administered in parts of the world.
It usually takes up to 10 years for a vaccine to be developed.
However, Dr Ronan Glynn says the speed shouldn’t be cause for alarm.
He says there has been scientific and medical research carried out on a scale which has never been seen before, while also the high number of Covid-19 cases means the trials were quickly able to see what was working, and what wasn’t.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer also says the ability of pharmaceutical companies to run different phases in parallel with each other allowed the process to be quicker.
Research from the Department of Health shows 45% of people will definitely take a vaccine when they’re eligible, while 28 percent say they will probably take one.
Dr Ronan Glynn says there will be rumour and misinformation online about a vaccine but says public health officials will have to build confidence and address uncertainties.
Rapid regular Covid19 testing is being rolled out in schools and colleges in Wales.
From January, staff and pupils who come into contact with a person infected by the virus will be asked to take a test every day for 10 days or self-isolate.
Those who get a negative result at the start of the day can carry on going to school.
It’s as the first Covid19 vaccines will begin arriving in the US this morning.
Nearly 150 distribution centres across America will receive deliveries of the Pfizer-Bio-N-tech jab.
Initially, about 3 million doses are expected to be sent out with health care workers and nursing home residents being the first to receive it.