An Taoiseach Michéal Martin has said on Thursday in Dublin that NPHET are likely to advocate for the introduction of new Covid restrictions following their meeting on Thursday.
It’s anticipated that the new Omicron variant will also form a pivotal role in any potential recommendations after a case of the strain was confirmed here on Wednesday.
The Taoiseach said that while there have been positive indicators, in terms of hospitalisations and decreasing ICU admissions, he added that case numbers remain high.
Mr Martin said “There has been a stabilisation of our hospital numbers and ICU numbers and in some of the older age cohorts where the booster is being rolled out, there has been a downward trajectory in the number of cases.”
“I think the measures we announced a few weeks ago, a call to arms if you like, where we asked the public to reduce social contacts, reduce socialisation, work from home where possible, get vaccinated, get the booster when you’re asked, is having an impact.
“The CMO is watching the dual challenges of the potential flu season early in the new year or the end of this year and the Omicron variant.
“There are challenges we have to be mindful of and obviously NPHET are meeting today, they will make recommendations to the government and the government will then consider those.”
The Taoiseach thanked people for reducing their social contacts and also highlighted that around 40,000 booster shots are being administered a day, with people still coming forward to avail of their initial dose.
When asked whether he expects schools to reopen in the new year, the Taoiseach said he was confident the current measures in place will allow for students to safely return to classrooms after the Christmas break.
“We anticipate that schools will be reopening, of course, … ”our view is that much of what we’re doing now will protect schools so yes, schools will reopen in the new year.”