Covid-19: Evening Update
The highest number of Covid-19 cases in almost seven months has been reported today.
There are 2,098 new infections – the highest in a single day since January 22nd.
251 people are in hospital with the virus, up seven in 24 hours, with 52 in intensive care, which is unchanged.
The chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, says it’s the second time in a week there have been over 2,000 cases – which is very concerning.
Medics say Covid restrictions between Northern Ireland and the Republic should be aligned.
It comes as hospitality firms push for the rules to be matched in an effort to boost tourism.
The North’s health minister’s described the latest coronavirus figures as deeply concerning.
It’s after 2,397 positive cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours, and 9 additional Covid related deaths.
That’s the highest one-day total recorded in Northern Ireland.
The restrictions on the live events sector are “a disgrace”, according to a government TD.
Marc MacSharry says there’s no reason some events shouldn’t be allowed given 40,000 people will be attending the All Ireland hurling final in Croke Park this weekend.
The Government is due to publish a roadmap for the easing of restrictions through the winter on August 31st.
TD Marc MacSharry says the current situation isn’t acceptable.
Over 300 students will be allowed to attend some in-person college lectures next month.
UCD is returning to full-size lectures of up to 500 people as there won’t be any social distancing.
It’s reducing class times to 45 minutes and making masks compulsory for indoor areas of the campus.
Junior minister for higher education, Niall Collins, says it’s up to each college to develop their own rules.
A TD has called for greater use of antigen testing to get the live events sector up and running.
The entertainment industry won’t have a roadmap for reopening until the 31st of August.
Arts Minister Catherine Martin told the sector she’s frustrated at the slow pace of reopening.
Gardai are warning people about a text scam which takes people to a link to book a Covid test and then looks for payment.
The text appears to be from the HSE, and gardai are warning people the HSE will never seek money for a Covid test.
The link takes users to a cloned website, where fraudsters request personal information including PPS numbers.
Gardai say in most instances the links look very similar to the authentic HSE URL, but may be misspelled.
They’re warning anyone who has paid the scammers to contact their bank and local gardai immediately.
Ireland needs to support the production of generic Covid-19 vaccines according to Oxfam.
The Government is to donate 300 thousand vaccines to less developed countries, which are struggling to procure jabs.
Oxfam Ireland says it welcomes the announcement but more needs to be done.
The charity’s Head of Policy and Advocacy is Michael McCarthy Flynn – he says generic vaccines are needed to tackle Covid-19 globally.