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    No deaths and 453 cases confirmed by Nphet

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    No further deaths and 453 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

    Of the cases notified today, 78 per cent are under 45 years of age and the median age is 25 years old.

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    No new deaths means there remains a total 4,906 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.

    As of 8am this morning, there were 129 Covid-19 patients hospitalised, including 40 in ICU. Five additional hospitalisations were seen in the past 24 hours.

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    The Republic’s five-day moving case average now stands at 489.

    In Northern Ireland, there have been no further deaths of patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19. And additional 64 cases of the virus were confirmed over the last 24-hour reporting period.

    Monday’s figures come as those aged 59 will be able to register online for a Covid-19 vaccine from Tuesday.

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    The HSE online portal will open to those aged 50-59 this week as Ministers also consider plans to speed up the rollout of vaccines to those under 50.

    HSE officials are working on a revised vaccination schedule and a memo on the programme is expected to be discussed at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

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    Changes to restrictions on the use of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, alongside fluctuating delivery schedules, have presented Ministers with a choice of accelerating the programme for under-50s or potentially having hundreds of thousands of unused doses by mid-summer.

    This is expected to be the busiest week yet for the programme, with 220,000-240,000 vaccinations scheduled.

    Restrictions easing

    Meanwhile, the chief medical officer has urged those who have been vaccinated to “get back out there” once restrictions begin to ease from May 10th.

    Dr Tony Holohan said the Covid-19 vaccines have given people most at risk of the virus an opportunity to regain many freedoms that were taken in the last year.

    In an open letter to those who have been vaccinated, Dr Holohan said people can have faith that the vaccines work.

    Dr Holohan said that the pandemic has dealt every person in Ireland an “unfair hand”, in many different and diverse ways.

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