Ireland still has time to reverse the trajectory of Covid-19, amid rising rates of the virus, the chief medical officer said.
r Tony Holohan called on people to follow public health advice and asked anyone eligible for a booster to take it.
Ireland is currently going through a fourth wave of the pandemic, raising concerns about the ability of the health system to cope.
5,959 other cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Ireland on Saturday.
As of 8 a.m. today, 640 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, including 121 in intensive care.
* The number of daily cases may change due to future data validation
– Ministry of Health (@roinnslainte) 20 November 2021
According to the latest figures, there are 640 hospital patients with the disease, including 121 in intensive care.
“We can change the trajectory of this disease,” Dr Holohan said in a statement.
“Small changes, from all of us, will make a big difference collectively.
“Together, we can break the chains of transmission and reduce the incidence of disease. In doing so, we can have a real impact on the number of people who find themselves critically ill and hospitalized in mid-December. “
He warned the situation was having a dangerous impact on non-Covid care in the healthcare system.
“The current level of Covid-19 in Ireland is having a negative impact on the health of the Irish population and placing a huge burden on our entire healthcare system, from public health to general medicine to our hospitals acute care, ”he said.
“We are all, of course, very tired of this pandemic.
“Time and time again we have called on the Irish people to heed public health messages and act for the collective good. And time and time again, the vast majority have listened to and responded to this message. “
Dr Holohan asked people to make sure they are using antigen testing correctly.
“If you have symptoms of Covid-19, you should self-isolate and book a PCR test online or contact your GP. You shouldn’t do an antigen test.
“Unfortunately, our data suggests that the majority of people who currently use antigen testing are symptomatic and of those, the majority who test ‘negative’ incorrectly assume that this means they no longer have to self-isolate or get a PCR test – potentially putting many others at risk for Covid-19. “
“You should only consider using an antigen test if you have no symptoms of the disease and only as an additional tool.”
He also urged people to “try to meet other people outside”.
On Saturday, Taoiseach Micheal Martin acknowledged that Ireland was going through a “difficult” phase of the pandemic.
In recent days, health officials and doctors have called on people to reduce the number of people they see, to contain the spread of the virus.