Public told to "wind back" social contacts as 3,174 new Covid cases confirmed
"The virus is spreading at a very high force of infection."
Professor Philip Nolan has said that Irish people need to scale back on socialising as the rise in new Covid-19 cases continues.
On Tuesday, 3,726 new cases of the virus were confirmed by the Department of Health; the largest such figure in a single day since mid-January.
On Wednesday, 3,174 new cases were announced.
460 patients are currently in hospital with the virus, of which 86 are in ICU.
56 deaths related to Covid since last Wednesday (27 October) were also confirmed by the Department of Health.
The @hpscireland has today been notified of 3,174* confirmed cases of #COVID19.
As of 8am today, 460 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 86 are in ICU.
*Daily case numbers may change due to future data validation.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) November 3, 2021
Speaking during a briefing of the National Public Health and Emergency Team, Professor Philip Nolan said that the public needs to play its part in bringing the reproduction number back down.
"A very large number of cases [have been] reported over the last week through the mid-term break, a reflection of the very high case counts," said Nolan.
"That's not yet translating into an increase into hospitalisations. In fact, the number of people in hospital seems to have declined a little bit. It's far too early to read anything into that trend.
"We'll just have to watch very carefully over the coming weeks to see if there is a change in the relationship between cases and hospitalisation," Nolan continued.
"This a very strong signal – the virus is spreading at a very high force of infection, very high levels – a very strong signal to each and every one of us that we really need to wind back our social contacts, to an extent, in order to bring [the] reproduction number back towards and ultimately below one."
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1 on Tuesday morning, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said there is no guarantee that Covid restrictions won't return in due course.
"The model we received from NPHET was looking at a peak [in cases] towards the end of November", Martin said.
"It is very concerning, the high rises in Covid-19 cases", he added.
The Taoiseach commended the effort the public had put in to this point, citing the 92% of the population that are vaccinated, and the increased usage of antigen testing.
"Collectively if we continue to work to just be cautious in terms of our individual behaviours, we can avoid the need to return or any negative, backward progress.
"We've learned from Covid-19 that no one can guarantee anything in respect of it, and we have to take it seriously. The vaccines work. We are in a different position to the one we were at last year."
Featured Image via Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie