Ireland logged almost 64,000 new cases of Covid-19 over the extended bank holiday weekend.

Figures covering the period from Thursday of last week to this Monday show a total of 63,954 cases registered through both PCR and antigen tests.

The latest figures for Monday show 4,024 cases confirmed by PCR test, while 10,631 positive antigen test results were registered on the HSE’s portal.

The positivity rate of PCR testing has soared to 44.2 per cent, while antigen tests are now identifying the bulk of new cases amid a major scaling-back of the country’s test and trace system.

A further 26 deaths of people with the disease have also been notified, while there are 1,308 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the hospital system.

Hospitalisations are continuing to trend upwards, with a rise of 133 cases over the last 24-hour period. This includes 49 people being treated in intensive care for the disease – the same number as Sunday.


Amid the climbing hospital numbers, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) called on Monday for emergency measures to be introduced to allow hospitals to cope with chronic overcrowding and surging case numbers.

Restrictions ruled out

The INMO said restrictions on elective care should remain in place until at least Easter, and also urged the Government to revisit its decision on mask wearing in indoor and crowded settings.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar on Sunday ruled out the return of Covid restrictions, saying the rise in cases is a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic”, as he acknowledged Ireland is in the midst of a second wave of the Omicron variant.

A public health expert meanwhile warned the country will need to continue to use “reasonable precautions” like face masks to tackle the virus for the foreseeable future.

On Wednesday ahead of the extended weekend, the chief of the health service Paul Reid had also warned that Ireland must “get back to basics” on mask-wearing and vaccinations in order to halt surging cases and hospital numbers.

Speaking today, he called on the 700,000 people who are now eligible for their booster vaccination to come forward.

He acknowledged the health system is under pressure, with a “significant increase” in the last 14 days in the numbers being hospitalised with the virus. He noted 50 per cent of those hospitalised had been admitted with other conditions and it was found that they had Covid-19 during testing.