Omicron wave set to peak "in the next week or so", says Leo Varadkar
A difficult month lies ahead for the healthcare system, however...
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that he expects the Omicron variant wave of Covid-19 in Ireland to peak imminently, though a tough month lies ahead for the healthcare system, nonetheless.
Varadkar's comments arrive just one day after Chief Executive of the Health Service Executive Paul Reid said there is no doubt that Covid-19 is "absolutely running rife" throughout the country.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland on Tuesday, Reid said: "If you think that you have Covid, it's most likely that you have it."
That same day, the Department of Health confirmed 9,006 new cases of the virus in Ireland.
521 patients are currently hospitalised as a result of Covid-19, of which 92 are in ICU.
Sounding a tone of optimism, Tánaiste Varadkar told the Irish Times on Wednesday that while cases should remain in the high numbers over the coming days, he expects the Omicron wave to peak "in the next week or so".
“We will overcome the Omicron wave and hopefully more quickly than prior waves,” Varadkar added while highlighting the importance of the vaccination rollout, a general increase in natural immunity, new anti-viral medicines and the eventual conclusion of the winter period.
"January will be a difficult month with a lot of pressure on hospitals and absence from work," he said. "It will be a challenge to manage it well."
Demand for PCR testing remains visibly high across the country as test centres struggle to meet demand.
Acknowledging the issue, the HSE has said it may lead to longer waiting times for results and urged people with symptoms and positive antigen tests to restrict their movements until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
As of Wednesday, people aged between 30 and 39 who have received their first two doses of the Covid-19 vaccination in the previous three months are now eligible to register for their booster vaccine.
Featured Image of Leo Varadkar via Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie