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Killer Covid-19 Cases In Last 24 Hours Reach 7,375 On Irish Mainland.

The Department of Health has confirmed 5,279 new cases of the Covid-19 virus, in the past 24 hours, here in the Irish Republic.

There remain 443 people in hospital, who have tested positive for the virus; down 24 since yesterday, and of these 102 are in our ICUs, a reduction of 2 cases.

Here in Co. Tipperary 117 cases have been confirmed in the 14 days to December 18th last, while nationally since the pandemic began; of 661,388 confirmed cases, 5, 835 deaths have now been recorded.

Dr Kingston Mills (Trinity College Dublin Professor of Experimental Immunology), has stated that booster vaccination, need to be administered more quickly, as two doses of any Covid-19 vaccine gives little or no protection, (especially the AstraZeneca vaccine), against the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.

Professor Mills suggests that in South Africa, where the variant first emerged, Omicron variant is likely a more moderate strain than the Delta variant. However, this evidence has been somewhat skewed by the fact that a huge proportion of the population of South Africa had already been infected with the Delta variant; prior to the rise of Omicron, thus creating amongst South Africans, a level of natural immunity.

An Tánaiste Mr Leo Varadkar has announced enhanced business support schemes for the hospitality and arts sectors, latter hit by the latest lock-down restrictions.

They will include the reopening the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme to new applicants and a relaxation of the turnover reduction figure for the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme, to 40%. The measures are seen as better than the support provided to those sectors when Ireland was in a full Level 5 lockdown.

Another 2,096 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Northern Ireland also today; down from 2,148 cases on yesterday.
As of today, the number of positive cases confirmed in the north over the past seven days was 14,876.

Today, there remained 268 patients with Covid-19 in northern hospitals in Northern Ireland, down from 276 on yesterday. There are 34 patients with Covid-19 in northern hospital intensive care units, the same number as reported yesterday.

Sadly, 3 more Covid-19-related deaths have also been reported in Northern Ireland today. The total number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in the north since the start of the pandemic is 2,955.

While Christmas cross-border trade from our Republic, stays healthy in Newry, latter divided by the Clanrye river in counties Armagh and Down; we learn that there are now 2,349 confirmed cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant present in Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Health Minister Mr Robin Swann has stated today that up to two thirds of Covid-19 patients in Northern hospitals, aged under-50, are sadly unvaccinated.

Please, please do take all measures necessary to ensure a safe and happy Christmas in Co. Tipperary.

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