A further 2,002 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic, as health chiefs warned of a recent upward trend in both positive tests and hospitalisations.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said Friday’s number “reflects an increased number of positive tests on specimens collected over the last three days.”

“However, the total number of Covid-19 cases reported in the last seven days (8,845 cases) is fewer than the previous seven days (9,115 cases),” he said.

The seven-day moving average of daily cases is 1,264 today, compared to 1,302 a week ago, he added.

“We will continue to monitor this situation closely to see if the trend in new infections over recent days is sustained,” Dr Glynn said.

“If you are experiencing a high temperature, dry cough, or flu-like symptoms please stay at home — do not go to work or socialise.

“To keep yourself and your family safe please continue to regularly wash your hands, wear a mask when appropriate, open windows and ventilate indoor spaces, and choose outdoors where possible for meeting others.”

Hospitalisations

There were 354 Covid patients hospitalised as of Friday morning, with 69 people being treated in intensive care.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said more than two thirds of those in intensive care are unvaccinated.

Hospitalisations have risen 17 per cent this week, he added in a tweet.

“Thankfully we’re all getting on with our lives more,” he said. “But just a need for caution. Covid-19 hospitalisations up 17 per cent this week to 354, 69 ICU.

“67 per cent of patients in ICU are not vaccinated (3 per cent partially). The vaccines are protecting and helping us all to move on, with awareness.”

It comes ahead of the easing of most of remaining Covid restrictions in the Republic on October 22nd.

In Northern Ireland, a further two patients who had previously tested positive for Covid died over the last 24 hours to Friday afternoon.

A further 1,276 cases of the virus were also notified by the Department of Health.

On Friday morning, there were 360 Covid-positive patients in hospital in the region, of whom 35 were in intensive care.