Covid cases fall as first shipment of Pfizer’s antiviral drug treatment reaches Irish coast


Covid-19 cases are falling but infection levels still remain high as the Easter holiday weekend approaches and the prospect of more socializing, it emerged yesterday.

The Health Protection Surveillance Center said last week there was a 34.9 percent drop in positive PCR tests.

The highest percentage of cases were in the 35 to 44 age group – they accounted for one in five infections.

The highest incidence by age was observed in those over 85 years of age.

The highest percentage of people hospitalized with Covid-19 by age group were over 85, accounting for a quarter of those requiring admission.

Among those who test positive with home antigen tests, the median age is 37 to 38 years.

A further 5,883 new infections were reported yesterday, a 10 percent drop in one week.

There were 1,182 Covid-19 patients in hospital, 58 of whom are in intensive care.

It is a new Covid-19 advisory group replacing the National Public Health Emergency Team ( Nphet) was announced yesterday. The outgoing Chief Physician, Dr Tony Holohanwho is leaving in two months for a professorship at Trinity College.

It will have much less power than Nphet and will mainly monitor and advise on the Covid-19 situation.

Meanwhile, Pfizer confirmed that the first shipment of its oral antiviral treatment for Covid-19 has arrived in Ireland.

Around 5,000 doses of Paxlovid, which can reduce the risk of hospitalization and serious illness if given early in the infection, are here.

Pfizer’s drug belongs to a class known as protease inhibitors.

It’s said to block an enzyme that the coronavirus needs to multiply and may reduce the risk of being hospitalized and dying.

It should be administered as soon as possible after contracting Covid, ideally within three to five days.

Meanwhile, the Marie Keating Foundation said the inclusion of the gut
Screen-at-home FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test) kits increased nearly 10 percent in 2021 from January through September, with over 51.5 percent of those invited for a FIT test returning testable samples.

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and its limitations, BowelScreen-eligible individuals must now wait an additional year to be screened, which means the interval for sending a FIT kit increases from every two years to every one has three.

The foundation urges the public to become more familiar with the symptoms of colon cancer, to speak to their GP if they notice a change in their bathroom habits, and to take their BowelScreen FIT test as soon as it arrives.

Colorectal cancer, or bowel cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer death in Ireland, accounting for 12 per cent of cancer deaths in men and 10 per cent in women, according to the latest figures from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI).

However, colorectal cancer that is detected early is very treatable and the five-year survival rate is currently over 65 percent. Covid cases fall as first shipment of Pfizer’s antiviral drug treatment reaches Irish coast

Fry Electronics Team

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