Covid-19: More than 19,500 cases reported over the weekend

Threefold increase in hospitalisations with Omicron since early February

There have been 19,509 new cases of Covid-19 reported in the last three days, according to the latest figures.

The numbers cover Saturday, Sunday and Monday and are a mixture of PCR and positive antigen tests.

There were 7,815 confirmed on Saturday (3,750 PCR, 4065 antigen), 5,176 on Sunday (2,313 and 2,863) and 6,518 on Monday (3,164 PCR, 3,354 antigen).

As of 8am on Monday, 1,433 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, an increase of 29 on the previous day and 59 were in ICU, up two on the previous day.


The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is down significantly on the Omicron sub-variant peak of March 24th when there were more than 23,000 confirmed in a day.

Trinity College Dublin Professor of Population Health Medicine Noel MCarthy expects the recent downward trend in Covid-19 numbers to continue though there may be a rise in cases after Easter because of more social mixing.

He said the recent drop-off in case numbers is “probably real rather than an artefact of low levels of testing”.

He added: “Although events like Easter mixing of populations groups including shared indoor events will likely produce another bump, as would reducing isolation rules, so that this is not entirely smooth I expect a decline to continue from here into summer.”

The widespread prevalence of the highly infectious BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron could have a positive impact on the future trajectory of the disease, he said.

There has been a huge spike in Covid-19 numbers in recent weeks across Europe as a result of the sub-variant.

The B.A.2 sub-variant of Covid-19 now accounts for 95 per cent of cases in the State.

In the UK case numbers are increasing by 1 per cent of the population every day.

Though less severe than earlier strains, there has a threefold increase in hospitalisations with Omicron since early February.

Dr McCarthy said the circulation of the B.A.2 sub-variant at present could give “widespread protection against severe outcomes” and increase immunity in the population in general.

While the B.A 2 variant is circulating widely in the community it will be competition to any “entirely new variant” which could be more severe, he said.

“I’m very hopeful on this being a transition to an ecology that will allow normal life alongside Covid-19.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times