COVID-19: 3,735 New Cases As C...


COVID-19: 3,735 New Cases As Concerns Are Raised Over New Variant


04:11 28 Nov 2021

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The Department of Health has reported 3,735 new cases of Covid-19.


566 people are currently in hospital with the virus - an increase of 30 on yesterday's figure.


117 people are being treated in ICU, a decrease of 1 on yesterday.


The figures come as officials try to learn more about a new Covid-19 variant of concern that is believed to be more transmissible.


NPHET member Dr Cillian De Gascun says Omicron is very different to the original Wuhan variant of the virus, but he believes the vaccine will be effective against this strain too:


"Alpha was very different to Wuhan, Delta was more different to Wuhan, and what we've seen is that the vaccine still retain an effectiveness against those variants, certainly against severe illness and hospitalisation."


The chair of the South African Medical Association says travel restrictions in response to the new Covid variant are not justified.


On Friday the EU recommended additional rules for passengers arriving from southern Africa and other countries affected by the new Omicron variant.


South African GP Dr Angelique Coetzee, says her patients with Omicron have presented with only mild symptoms so far.


Dr Coetzee, thinks the travel restrictions were brought in as a knee-jerk reaction.


"It's too early, there's not enough known about the severity of the disease [...] I would have expected by now that we would have seen more severe cases."



Meanwhile, Munster Rugby are to remain in Cape Town after an unnamed member of the squad tested positive for Covid-19, the province said on Sunday.


Munster are one of four European sides that were in South Africa when authorities raised the alarm about the new Omicron coronavirus variant.


The players will still have to isolate for 10 days on their return to Ireland.



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