DR TONY HOLOHAN has warned of a potential surge in Covid-19 cases later this month, suggesting that Ireland could be recording up to 3,000 per day in little over a fortnight.
In a letter to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly this week, the Chief Medical Officer said he "expects the situation to get worse" before we see an improvement, adding that the Delta variant still poses a very serious threat to the unvaccinated.
With schools reopening, and following the announcement that Ireland will be scrapping the vast majority of Covid-19 restriction on October 22, Dr Holohan says he fears that caution may be thrown to the wind, which could result in a significant surge in Covid cases.
He stressed that 3,000 cases per day was an "optimistic" projection.
"Revised modelling scenarios calibrated to 11 August 2021 show, for optimistic scenarios, cases counts peaking at 2,500-3,000 cases per day in mid-September, with later peaks in healthcare demand seeing 500-700 people in hospital and 80-130 people in intensive care," he wrote.
Dr Holohan suggested that if cases rise to between 4,000 and 5,000 per day, it's likely that between 750 and 1,300 people will be hospitalised and 150-250 people will require critical care, which could overload Ireland's healthcare system.
He added that the "current epidemiological situation is set against a background of the dominance of Delta in Ireland, a variant which is significantly more transmissible and less susceptible to vaccines than previous variants.
"This poses a very substantial threat, particularly to those who are not yet fully protected through vaccination," Dr Holohan said.
Today, 1,392 new cases were confirmed, while 355 people are currently hospitalised with the virus, 54 of which are intensive care.
Since indoor dining returned, daily cases figures jumped up, but maxed out at just under the 2,000 mark.