Paul Reid concerned over "quite significant" rise in Covid cases and hospitalisations
“It’s a real alert to all of us and take strong encouragement that vaccines are working - but, we are not bulletproof."
HSE CEO Paul Reid has said that he is concerned over the "quite significant" rise in Covid cases and hospitalisations over recent weeks.
There is a “concern at the moment yes, now that we’ve started to reach these figures of 2,000 cases per day which we haven’t seen since January," Reid said on Sunday.
He told Newstalk's On The Record that the rise in cases in the last six weeks was "quite significant".
Reid said the number of people in hospital with the virus also increased "sixfold" over the past six weeks, climbing from 40 six weeks ago to 258 as of Sunday morning.
"We should take great confidence from the vaccination programme," he added.
"I can see it working in terms of hospitalisations and in terms of ICU."
However, Reid said that in spite of the success of the vaccine rollout, 258 is a "lot of people who are very sick", adding that while the vaccines do help, "we are not bulletproof".
“258 people are a lot of people who are very sick, and need respiratory support in many cases," he continued.
“It’s a real alert to all of us and take strong encouragement that vaccines are working, but we are not bulletproof.
The HSE Chief added that while a majority of the adult population is now fully vaccinated at 80%, the virus still has “very high transmission levels in the community".
He said that while "none of us have 100% protection from getting the virus", the sickness is "not as strong" as it was in January.
“What we are seeing is people are hospitalised and staying shorter than it was in January of this year. The level of sickness is not as strong," he said.
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