448 new Covid-19 cases in Ireland as Taoiseach says fourth virus wave will be different 2 months ago

448 new Covid-19 cases in Ireland as Taoiseach says fourth virus wave will be different

The Taoiseach urged the Irish public to be "vigilant".

There have been 448 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Ireland, as Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that the fourth wave of the virus will be different from previous waves.

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The figures released from the Department of Health on Saturday did not contain information regarding deaths related to Covid-19.

The Department of Health's statement said that the number of daily cases may also change due to future data validation.

42 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 14 are in ICU.

Speaking to reporters in Cork, the Taoiseach said the impact of the fourth wave of Covid-19 - which NPHET warned about earlier in the week - would be different from previous waves on account of the vaccine rollout.

He said: "Every phase of the pandemic is different. If you look at last summer for example and the type of activities that we could or could not do and compare it to this summer, it's very significantly different now in terms of the greater things we can do.

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"If you look at the activities out and about - outdoor hospitality. We brought back construction. We've brought back personal services and retail."

However, the Taoiseach did say the emerging and more transmissible Delta variant of the virus "does present a challenge" and that it will take more time to "establish with precision" the link between the volume of Covid-19 cases and hospitalisation.

"We are concerned about it... but that said, we have significant numbers of the population vaccinated," added Martin.

"We're going to really accelerate that in the coming month... It's a race between the vaccines and the virus.

"There will be a wave but I think it will be different in its impact to previous waves.

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"What I would say to people is to be vigilant, to refocus in terms of our personal behaviour."

While he acknowledged that this can be difficult and that people are tired of the pandemic, he said that by doing so "we can go a long way to mitigate the impact of the Delta variant" as the rollout of the vaccine programme continues.