One of the most prominent members of NPHET has said that Ireland is “on a knife edge” with Covid-19 – but has boosted hopes of a full lifitng of restrictions on October 22.
Professor Philip Nolan said there is a worrying number of Covid-19 tests being requested in the past week and there is also a concern that positive cases may may translate to increased hospitalisations in the coming days.
However, Professor Nolan noted that due to the high vaccination rate of the country, this is not the time to press the panic button.
He told Today with Claire Byrne on RTE Radio One: “We’re looking at a situation where the disease is going in the wrong direction… This is a time for concern… It doesn’t seem to be the time for emergency action like we would’ve needed back in October  or January.”
Professor Nolan said that the virus is moving subtly and slowly through the vaccinated population.
He also issued an appeal to the public to help persuade everyone they can to take the vaccine.
Crucially, he pleaded to the public to not to leave home if they have cold or flu symptoms.
He said that doing so needs to be classed as “socially unacceptable in the way that drink driving is socially unacceptable”
And while he couldn’t give a definitive answer about the potential restrictions being lifted on October 22, he said “we will know an awful lot more about where we are going next Monday.
“We have done a great job . . . but could do more,”
Yesterday, the Department of Health reported 2,066 new coronavirus cases.
As of 8am this morning, there are 415 people in hospital with Covid-19, an increase of seven since yesterday, with 69 patients in ICUs.