HSE warn public of Omicron close contact scam text 1 month ago

HSE warn public of Omicron close contact scam text

People who receive the text are asked not to click the link or share any personal details.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has warned the public to be wary of a new scam text making the rounds.

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The text was brought to the attention of the organisation on Wednesday (5 October).

The message appears to be sent from an official HSE channel and reads as follows:

"You have been in contact of someone with COV-19 Omicron. To order a MANDATORY test kit kindly proceed below" followed by an unofficial link.

The HSE confirmed that the message was a scam via its social media channels.

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"We are aware of it and working to have the website removed," the HSE wrote.

"We advise that you don't click on the link or share any personal details."

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Also on Wednesday, Professor Breda Smyth was announced to be appointed Ireland's Chief Medical Officer, succeeding Tony Holohan.

Smyth has already been serving as interim CMO for the Department of Health since July after Holohan's resignation.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced that Smyth will be taking up the role on a permanent basis on Wednesday (5 October), stating that the appointment followed an open competition that took place through the Top-Level Appointment Commission process.

Smyth issued a statement addressing the current rise of Covid infection in the community, in which she urged the public to "stay well by being prepared for winter".

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Smyth said there were 405 confirmed cases of the virus in hospital on Wednesday morning – an increase of 23% from 329 cases last week on 28 September and an increase of 74% from 233 cases on 14 September.

"We have seen an average of 60 new Covid-19 hospitalisations per day observed in the last seven days," Smyth added.

"Not all Covid-19 cases in hospital have been admitted due to their infection, but every additional Covid-positive patient adds to the strain on our hospital system as we enter what is expected to be an extremely busy period.

"As of 27 September, approximately 70% of cases hospitalised for Covid-19 were aged 65 years and older, and of these, more than one in four had not completed their primary Covid-19 vaccine course and approximately two in five had not yet received any booster vaccine.

"The scientific data tells us that the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines wanes over time, it is important to keep up to date with your vaccine schedule and make sure to receive a booster dose as soon as you are eligible."

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