Leo Varadkar says Ireland is "without a doubt" well into a "fourth wave" of Covid-19 pandemic 2 months ago

Leo Varadkar says Ireland is "without a doubt" well into a "fourth wave" of Covid-19 pandemic

"Nobody knows for sure how that’s going to turn out, how long the wave will last, or where it will peak."

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that Ireland is "without a doubt" well into a "fourth wave" of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Speaking to reporters in Dublin on Wednesday, Varadkar described the increase in cases over recent weeks as a "Delta wave of infections".

"Without doubt, we’re now well into a fourth wave - a Delta wave of infections," he said.

"Nobody knows for sure how that’s going to turn out, how long the wave will last, or where it will peak."

He added that he is "optimistic" that the spike won't see cases rise to more than 3,000-4,000 per day, or hospitalisations of "much above 500".

“I’m taking the optimistic view that we’ll follow a similar course to Scotland - maybe peak around 3,000-4,000 [daily] cases in the next few weeks, then fall back, and not see hospitalisations rise much above 500 and ICU not much above 50," he continued.

“But we can’t know that for sure and that’s why I think we need to be quite cautious for the next couple of weeks."

Varadkar added that while the easing of indoor dining restrictions will see people who are fully vaccinated, accompanying under 18s and those who have recently recovered from the virus permitted to eat inside from Monday, it is unlikely any other restrictions will be eased over the coming weeks.

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He said that he doesn't anticipate "much easing beyond that" until government and public health officials have more clarity in regards to the "Delta wave".

“While restrictions will be eased in relation to indoor dining on Monday, I don’t anticipate there being very much easing beyond that for the next few weeks, at least until we have a better idea with where we stand when it comes to this Delta wave," he added.