Country emerging from current Covid wave with cases falling but hotspots persist


Waterford, Carlow, Kerry, Galway, Westmeath and Limerick had the highest incidences of Covid-19 last week, new figures have revealed.

In Waterford, the incidence rate per 100,000 was 378.7, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

This compares to Monaghan, which had the lowest incidence at 128.7 per 100,000.

Monaghan was followed by Louth, Roscommon, Mayo, Cavan, Meath, Clare, Donegal, Offaly and Sligo.

It comes as the country continues on its positive trajectory and emerges from the current Covid-19 wave. The number of patients hospitalized with the virus fell below 600 yesterday to 599, down 55 from Thursday.

Of those, 39 are in intensive care – down from 53 a week ago.

Although daily cases are declining, they remain high with a further 2,778 reported yesterday, including 1,171 positive PCR tests.

Last week, the highest percentage of cases was in the 35-44 age group at 20.7 percent.

More women than men had a positive PCR test.

The highest incidence by age was in the 85+ age group.

Among the confirmed cases reported last week, three were known to have been admitted to intensive care.

The median age of those who use home antigen testing and test positive is 38 years old.

Meanwhile, offshoots of the Omicron variant are constantly being monitored.

Subvariant BA.2.12.1 is believed to be behind a spike in cases in the United States.

It is not yet listed among the variants discovered here, but it is more transferrable than the BA.2 version prevalent in Ireland.

Cases of another variant – the XE variant – which is a hybrid of BA.1 and BA.2 have been found here, one of which is travel related. While this one is also easier to catch than BA.2, it is not considered a serious threat for now.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed the local constituency with the highest rate of Covid-19 booster vaccinations is Bantry, Co Cork.

The lowest is found in the Blanchardstown-Mulhuddart area of ​​Dublin.

Areas with a high uptake of booster jabs also include Blackrock, Co. Dublin; Belmullet, Co. Mayo; Rathfarnham Templeogue and Stillorgan in Dublin.

Other local voting areas with a lower uptake of boosters are Tallaght South, North Downtown Dublin, Ongar and Ballymun-Finglas.

In 90 percent of those areas, immunization coverage for 5- to 11-year-olds is less than 23.4 percent of the population, the CSO said.

Meanwhile, new research was presented at this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal shows that people infected with the Omicron variant are 36 percent less likely to be hospitalized than people with the Delta variant.

A lower risk is observed in both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals.

The study was conducted by Dr. Peter Bager and colleagues at Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark.

In this observational cohort study, the authors included all PCR-confirmed cases of Covid infection in Denmark, with samples collected between November 21 – the date of the first Omicron-positive sample – and December 19, 2021.

Of the 188,980 people with infection, 38,669 or 20.5 percent had the omicron variant.

A total of 124,313 — or 66 percent out of 188,980 — people were vaccinated, and vaccination was associated with a 76 percent lower risk of hospitalization than cases with no vaccination or only one dose of vaccine. Country emerging from current Covid wave with cases falling but hotspots persist

Fry Electronics Team

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