The World Health Organisation says Ireland has been hit by the ‘serious surge’ of Covid-19 recently.
The country’s five-day moving average has increased by 10% over the past five days and is now 538; seven in Carlow and three in Kilkenny.
Dr David Nabarro, the WHO’s special envoy on Covid, says Ireland’s situation is concerning.
24 deaths were announced last evening with a slight drop in the number of positive tests returned at 371. Of these six are in Carlow which remains in the country’s seventh-highest spot for the 14-day incidence rate of the virus which, at 177.4 is now greater than the national figure of 158.3.
Kilkenny’s again at the opposite end of the scale with Ireland’s lowest rate of 38.3 after up to more more instances were recorded across the county.
There were 325 people in public hospitals with the virus last night, with 76 in intensive care.
It’s good news at St Luke’s General Hospital for Carlow and Kilkenny however with just three patients there now being treated with the virus, the lowest number in a long time. One person is in ICU there.
At University Hospital Waterford 16 people are battling Coronavirus, three in critical care, after one recent admission. Five others at the facility are suspected cases.
The number of patients contacting GPs with Covid-19 symptoms has increased by up to 50% over the past 10 days.
Dr. Shane McKeogh is a founder of GP Buddy, which tracks calls to surgeries across the country.
He says the situation is very worrying.
The Health Minister says they’re examining easing restrictions on low-risk outdoor activities next month.
NPHET will advise the government tomorrow on whether there can be any lifting of parts of the level 5 measures from April 5th.
There have been renewed question-marks over things like construction opening amid rising cases over the past few days.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said they’re aware of how much people are feeling the impact of the lockdown.
A charity’s encouraging parents to open up and be honest with children about the loss of a loved one during the pandemic.
Barnardos has released tips, including using the words ‘dead’ or ‘death’ instead of ‘gone to sleep’, to avoid confusion.
Experts also say it’s important to explain to the child that it isn’t their fault so they don’t blame themselves.
In the UK
It’s reported Boris Johnson said the success of the UK’s vaccination program’s down to ‘capitalism and greed’.
He is said to have made the comments to MPs – before admitting he regretted saying it.
The British Prime Minister’s appearing before senior committee heads later, to face questions about the pandemic.
It’s as the Daily Telegraph reports children in the UK could be in line for a Covid injection from August.
Meanwhile, more than half of the UK population says some aspects of Covid restrictions will be MISSED once they’re lifted.
A survey’s found some people have enjoyed staying at home, extra family time, and quieter roads because of lockdown.
It’s also suggested 19% of people think the past year has been better than they’d expected it to be when the pandemic started.
And Scotland’s Western Isles will see some Covid-19 rules eased from this evening.
At 6pm, they’re being moved from level four to level three of restrictions, meaning hospitality venues, hairdressers and gyms can reopen.
It puts people there in the same level of lockdown as other island communities like Shetland and Orkney.
There was a 13% increase in new cases of Covid-19 in Europe last week.
The World Health Organisation says there were over 1.4 million cases in the continent.
France had the most, at nearly 205,000, a 27% increase on the previous week.
The next highest was Italy, at over 154,000, and while Poland had nearly 152,000.
Meanwhile, the European Commission is expected to extend the bloc’s powers and potentially block Covid-19 vaccine exports later today.
The regulation it seeks to bring in is aimed at making vaccine trade with other countries fair and reciprocal.
The Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said there are no winners in trying to limit exports of vaccines.
Figures earlier this week showed that 41 million injections have been exported from the 27 member states, with 10 million vaccine doses going to the UK.
Hong Kong has suspended the use of some Pfizer BioNTech vaccines – after reports of defective bottle lids on one batch.
The manufacturer is investigating.
They say there’s no reason to believe the doses are unsafe but injections have stopped as a precaution.