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Falling Covid hospital numbers offer ‘great hope’, says HSE chief

The latest Covid-19 data suggests Ireland may be feeling “great hope”, the HSE chief has said.

Paul Reid said on Saturday that “a consistent set of Covid-19 trends gives a lot of hope”.

He added that the number of people hospitalized with the virus has fallen to 940.

Paul Reid (Brian Lawless/AP)

(PA Archive)

The number of people in hospital has topped 1,000 in recent days, raising concerns among health officials.

Mr Reid tweeted: ‘Fewer patients on oxygen support. Referrals to GPs and overall cases down.

“Booster shots and public response have mitigated the worst impacts so far.”

He again urged people to get a reminder shot.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said on Friday he hoped Covid-19 restrictions could be lifted at the end of the month, allowing events and the hospitality sector to open after 8pm.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) meets next Thursday and will advise Health Minister Stephen Donnelly on the current restrictions.

Mr Martin said the country is making progress against the Omicron variant.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to move forward with the current restrictions, but I’m not in a position to say anything definitive on that yet,” he said on Friday.

“I really want to see what public health officials are saying, and also get an idea of ​​where Omicron stands.”

Since Friday, close contacts who have had their booster shot and who have no symptoms no longer have to isolate themselves.

They were advised to wear high-quality masks and to continue having regular antigen tests.

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