Ireland, one of the most vaccinated populations for COVID-19 in Europe, experiences a rapid increase in COVID-19 infections undoubtedly driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. While studies now show that the super mutant can evade vaccine-induced antibodies, the incidence of breakthrough infections grows to a concerning level in places like the Emerald Isle.
Despite a near European high of a 77% fully vaccinated population, (over 90% for people over 12) SARS-CoV-2 infections in Ireland have hit a record high of 13,765 new cases in the nation of just over 5 million people. The previous high in the earlier, more deadly month of January 2021 surge was 8,227 in a day. Thus far this surge is associated with a far lower death count like the United Kingdom.
This is more than likely due to a combination of factors from extensive vaccination to natural immunity and waning severity of the mutants (even though they are more transmissible).
Yet the incidence of critical care continues to fall, reports Reuters and other media, as thus far Omicron appears milder in impact.
The Irish Examiner Reports:
A further 6,735 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Ireland, as almost half of the coronavirus swabs reported on Sunday returned a positive result.
According to the Covid-19 GeoHive, of the 13,149 swabs administered yesterday, 6,735 returned a positive test result - a positivity rate of 49.7%,
On St Stephen's Day, the test positivity rate was 39.8%, up from the 32.4% recorded on Christmas Day.
As of 8am on Monday, 461 Covid-19 patients were in hospital, 91 of whom were in ICU.
The Omicron Covid-19 variant now accounts for more than 87% of infections, according to Department of Health officials.