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Number of Covid-19 tests jumps 30% week-on-week

HSE chief Paul Reid said that the number of Covid-19 tests carried out on Monday was at its highest since January.

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Lauren Mulvey, 28, holding a testing swab from a lateral flow kit (John Masson/Colleges Scotland/PA)

Lauren Mulvey, 28, holding a testing swab from a lateral flow kit (John Masson/Colleges Scotland/PA)

Lauren Mulvey, 28, holding a testing swab from a lateral flow kit (John Masson/Colleges Scotland/PA)

The number of Covid-19 swab tests is increasing by 30% every week as the Delta variant accounts for the majority of new cases, the head of the HSE has warned.

Paul Reid said that the number of Covid-19 tests carried out on Monday was at its highest since January.

The chief executive also said that more than half of the adult population is now fully vaccinated against the virus.

Mr Reid said: “Just an early alert (regarding) Delta. Yesterday we had almost 14,000 Covid-19 swab tests done in the community.

“This is the highest since January 11th.

“Swabbing is increasing by 30% week on week.

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“Please do come forward for a test if symptomatic. Not everyone is protected yet.”

He added: “There are now over 50% of the adult population fully vaccinated, with 69% had their dose 1.

“A total of 4.42M vaccines administered to date with 345,000 completed last week.

“We’re working hard to protect as many people as quickly as possible.”

It comes as the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, confirmed that people in the 30 to 34 age group will be able to register online for an mRNA vaccine from Wednesday.

Mr Donnelly said that appointments will follow in a few days, with the first vaccinations for this group next week.

The portal had been due to open this Friday but has now been brought forward.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health reported an additional 397 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

As of 8am, there were 54 people in hospitals with the disease, of whom 16 were in intensive care units.

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said: “We are seeing a small but concerning increase in hospitalisations in recent days, coming 10-14 days after the five-day moving average of daily case numbers began to increase.

“This is a cause for concern and we will be monitoring it closely in the days and weeks ahead.

“Full vaccination is needed to protect against Covid-19, including the Delta variant.

“To protect yourselves and your loved ones, it is extremely important to take up the opportunity of being vaccinated and come forward for your second dose as soon as it is offered to you.

“The second vaccination is very effective at preventing both disease and hospitalisation.”

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said the Government is “anxious” to see the reopening of indoor dining as soon as possible.

Mr McGrath said the Delta variant is leading to more transmission.

We are making real progress and we do want to see the resumption of indoor dining and indoor activities as quickly as possible Michael McGrath

“We have a process now in place where there are intensive discussions under way with the (hospitality) sector and as a Government we are really anxious to see the resumption of indoor dining and indeed other indoor activities within the parameters of what is safe,” Mr McGrath said.

“We are learning more and more each day about Delta.

“While it is leading to increased transmission undoubtedly, thankfully the link between transmission of the virus and increased hospitalisation appears to be quite weak.

“The key point is that the vaccines are proven to be highly effective and this is a huge threshold that has been overcome today with over half of the adult population fully vaccinated and seven in ten adults with one dose.

“We are making real progress and we do want to see the resumption of indoor dining and indoor activities as quickly as possible.

“With good will on all sides and a willingness to try and do new things we think we can get there quite quickly.”

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Transport Minister Eamon Ryan Minister said the Government is monitoring the data around the Delta variant in the UK.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan Minister said the Government is monitoring the data around the Delta variant in the UK.

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Transport Minister Eamon Ryan Minister said the Government is monitoring the data around the Delta variant in the UK.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said the Government is monitoring the data around the Delta variant in the UK.

“I think the health data from the UK is very significant in terms of looking at what is the level of hospitalisations and that will give us a clear signal in how we do things,” Mr Ryan added.

He said he expects international travel to reopen as planned on July 19.

“It’s not going to be a huge change, we are taking this step by step,” he continued.

“Then in August we will start bringing public transport back to full levels, back to colleges and offices in September.

“I don’t think it will be like the UK where they are throwing the doors open in everything, I think it will be a more stage process here.

“I think that is more appropriate.”


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