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Taoiseach urges Irish public to enjoy a safe St Patrick’s Day

Micheal Martin stressed it is important that people avoid social gatherings or congregations amid the ongoing pandemic.

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Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Ireland’s premier has urged the public to enjoy a safe St Patrick’s Day.

Micheal Martin stressed it is “very important” that people avoid social gatherings amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We are dealing with a variant that spreads far more easily and we now know from research, a variant that is more deadly,” he said.

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Taoiseach Micheal Martin said ‘the key issue is the avoidance of gathering’ (Tom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said ‘the key issue is the avoidance of gathering’ (Tom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA)

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Taoiseach Micheal Martin said ‘the key issue is the avoidance of gathering’ (Tom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA)

“We’ve made very, very good progress overall since the Christmas period in driving down numbers and, in particular, reducing pressure on our hospitals and on our ICU, and particularly on our health service frontline staff.

“I think it’s very important that we keep focused on this aspect of our battle against Covid-19.”

The Taoiseach added: “The key issue is the avoidance of congregation, the avoidance of gathering.

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“With this variant, if people gather together, the risk of spread is very significant. We know that from experience, not just here, but across Europe.

It’s very, very important that we avoid household gatherings, that we avoid congregation in generalMicheal Martin

“Member states are witnessing an increase now in numbers, very significantly in some countries. We don’t doubt that is evidence of the transmissibility of, in particular, the B117 variant.

“It’s very, very important that we avoid household gatherings, that we avoid congregation in general.”

He added: “Occasions like tomorrow can potentially create opportunities for the spread of the virus, which we must resist. That is my appeal to people more generally.

“We’ve made a lot of sacrifices, the sacrifices have been effective. Let’s keep the numbers down, let’s keep at it.”

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach said that the State is making “good progress” in its vaccination programme.

“We can see that there’s ups and downs in relation to supply issues around the vaccines, but I think the continuing improvements, in terms of the output from Pfizer, is significant, particularly for quarter two,” he said.

“For the moment it’s very, very important – difficult and all as it is for people out there in terms of the quality of life – it’s important that we keep the pressure on this virus, and on this variant, and to keep the pressure off our hospitals and protect the vulnerable.”

A further 18 deaths related to Covid-19 and 349 more cases of the virus were notified in Ireland on Tuesday.

Some 355 Covid positive patients are in hospitals, of whom 88 are in ICU.

Meanwhile, as of March 13, 615,934 doses of coronavirus vaccines had been administered.


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