Laois nationalist – record Covid numbers expected as the country braces itself against the Omicron wave – archyde

Muireann Duffy

The daily Covid-19 case numbers are expected to reach record highs in the coming days as the country prepares for another wave of infections from the Omicron variant.

Although data from the UK suggest that Omicron infections have resulted in fewer hospital admissions, the results are still inconclusive, and officials warn that an increase in the number of cases will still put severe strain on the already fatigued healthcare system.

According to Die Irish Times, Ministers and senior officials are expected to meet next week to see if further restrictions are needed to control transmission levels over the New Year.

The government believes there is currently no data to suggest that further restrictions are needed. However, should the epidemiological situation deteriorate quickly after Christmas, increased measures would likely be taken quickly.

Although the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is not scheduled to meet by early next month, officials will consult with the government in the coming weeks.

It is understood that contingency plans have been put in place in the past few days, including one Exception for key workers who do not work in the healthcare sector regarding the isolation requirements in anticipation of high absenteeism due to the virus.

While it is not yet clear how severe the Omicron wave will be, high-level sources agree that Ireland is facing a huge wave of infections. Christmas is expected to have an impact on data reporting as well, meaning it will likely take several days to get a clear picture of the virus’ trajectory.

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