A further 3,726 COVID cases have been announced this evening – the highest figure since January 14th.
This morning, there were 493 coronavirus patients in Irish hospitals – 20 fewer than this day last week. 90 patients are in intensive care, which is down by seven on last week.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced the figures during a Dáil debate on extending the Government’s emergency COVID powers this evening.
He insisted the high case rate shows the powers are still needed.
“Voting against an extension of these powers for three months, given the current situation, is reckless,” he said.
“We know that we have a very significant increase in cases across all age groups. Indeed the case prevalence we are looking at the moment is higher than at any point since the very highest peak in January.”
The five-day moving average has now increased to 2,722. The 14-day incidence stands at 695 per 100,000 – an increase of 18% on last week.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said people can still reduce the spread of the virus by following public health advice.
“COVID-19 is circulating widely in our community, but we have the tools to limit its spread,” he said.
“We know that vaccination is very successful at preventing severe illness and hospitalisation and I urge anyone who still needs to get their COVID vaccine to do so.
“We also know that, even when vaccinated, we still need to practice basic public health interventions – washing our hands, opening windows, wearing masks and most importantly, staying home when we have symptoms.”