Ireland could report up to 4,000 COVID-19 cases a day in the coming weeks, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has warned.
He says the country is now ‘well into’ a fourth virus wave caused by the Delta strain as Cabinet signed off on plans to allow indoor dining to reopen next week,
Dining indoors is however only for fully vaccinated people or those who can prove their recovery from the virus. Unvaccinated children will be allowed to dine with adults once their table is two metres away from other tables.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said ”We are now well into a fourth wave – a Delta wave of infections. Nobody knows for sure how that’s going to turn out, how long the wave will last, or where it will peak.
“I’m taking the optimistic view that we’ll follow a similar course to Scotland – maybe peak around 3,000-4,000 cases in the next few weeks, then fall back, and not see hospitalisations rise much above 500 and ICU not much above 50.
“But we can’t know for sure, and that’s why we need to be quite cautious in the next couple of weeks.”
He said the Government is ramping up the vaccination programme, with everyone aged over 18 now able to register for an mRNA jab.
Work is also underway to improve test, trace and isolation systems – with the Tánaiste noting antigen testing for close contacts will be rolled out from next week.