Omicron variant accounts for 27% of all new Covid-19 cases

Omicron variant accounts for 27% of all new Covid-19 cases

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has told the Dáil that the Omicron variant now represents 27% of all new Covid-19 cases, up from 1% last week.

“Last week the Omicron variant made up about 1% of all new cases in Ireland. By the weekend it was up to 5%.

“On Tuesday, the rate reported was 14%. Today, just two days later, I can confirm to the House that the Omicron variant now comprised over 27% of all new cases,” Mr Donnelly said.

People in their 40s will begin to receive appointments for their booster shots next week and they will begin to be administered the following week, he said.

It comes as a further 4,141 cases of Covid-19 have today been confirmed.

As of 8am today, 443 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, down 27 on yesterday’s figures while 108 are in ICU.

The number of people currently in hospital with the virus is down 18% from last week.

Following further data validation, the total number of Omicron cases confirmed through whole-genome sequencing in Ireland to date has been revised down to 39 confirmed cases.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said that Wednesday was the largest daily booster vaccination number, with 50,000 doses administered.

He said that 1.35 million booster jabs had been administered to date.

Mr Reid set out the HSE’s revised plan to expand the booster programme, to speed up the number of vaccines in the coming weeks and months.

He said the plan aimed to mitigate “to the greatest extent” the projected effect of the Omicron variant.

Queues of people form outside a walk-in vaccination centre in Greystones, Co Wicklow. Pic: Brian Lawless

“The revised plan is geared towards increased capacity, supporting us accelerating all age groups forward than originally planned, and equally putting in additional options for the public through various different channels to receive a vaccination,” he said.

“From a capacity point of view, while we’re putting in place our extended hours of the centres, all centres all across the country will now move to 12-hour days; 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

These will have a combination of appointments and walk-in clinics, he said.

Mr Reid also said they have redeployed “very significant staffs” across the health service and continued their recruitment overall and 

We are increasing the capacity of our existing sites, with some extra bays and extra vaccinators going in. 

“And we’re also putting in some extra sites at the Richmond Barracks (Dublin), the RDS and in Cork City,” he added.

As many as 1,300 GPs are expected to be participating in the programme and t

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