The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has risen to the highest level seen in almost five months.

Figures on Sunday morning showed more than 300 people in hospital with the disease, for the first time since March.

Hospitalised cases increased from 259 on Saturday to 314 on Sunday morning, with 54 people in intensive care, an increase of two on Saturday.

The chief executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE) Paul Reid described the figures as a “very real” threat.

He also said that almost 6.6 million vaccine doses have been administered to date, with 91 per cent of adults partially vaccinated and 85 per cent fully jabbed.

About 135,000 children aged 12 to 15 have registered for a vaccine, while 77,000 have received a single dose, Mr Reid added.

Unvaccinated admissions

Infectious disease consultant, Dr Eoghan de Barra, said the majority of those in hospital with Covid-19 are unvaccinated.

“There are two types of people largely being admitted at the moment,” he told Newstalk radio.

“There’s some breakthrough infections in the older population, but the majority are unvaccinated people coming through.

“And our way through this is to get as many of those people vaccinated so there is no where else for the virus to hide, and that means that we can really decompress the pressure on the system.”

Ireland

Delta variant has not yet reached peak, Taoiseach…

The Taoiseach has warned that the Delta Covid-19 variant has not yet reached its peak in Ireland.

A further 2,125 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic on Saturday, as a public health expert warned of a window for a “large wave” of the disease in the coming weeks before vaccines take full effect.

Professor Philip Nolan, a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), said the incidence rate of Covid-19 should stabilise into September as doses administered to date take full effect.

The country’s chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, expressed “significant concern” over the growing number of daily cases and urged those who are unvaccinated to come forward as soon as possible to limit their risk of severe infection.