Number of tests for Covid-19 up 30% to highest level since January, says HSE CEO

Registration for 30- to 34-year-olds for a Covid-19 mRNA vaccine will open on Wednesday, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said, as the Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid reported a rise in testing.
Appointments will follow in a matter of days with the first vaccinations for this group next week, the Minister said.
Registration for an mRNA vaccine the Pfizer and Moderna jabs was due to open for the age cohort on Friday, but Mr Donnelly said on Tuesday morning this will now happen on Wednesday.
Those aged between 18 and 34 can currently receive the one-shot Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J) jab from around 800 participating pharmacies around the country.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) recently changed its advice to allow people aged under 40 to receive the J&J and AstraZeneca shots as the State seeks to widen the vaccine rollout amid concern about the spread of the Delta variant.
More than half of the eligible adult population are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said.
Meanwhile, 69 per cent of adults have received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
A total of 4.42 million vaccines have been administered to date with 345,000 given in the past week.
Were working hard to protect as many people as quickly as possible, Mr Reid said on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
Mr Reid has said all eligible adults could be fully vaccinated by the end of August or early September if the new arrangements being put in place work out as planned.
The HSE chief executive also said there were almost 14,000 Covid-19 swab tests done in the community on Monday, the highest figure since January 11th.
Swabbing is increasing by 30 per cent week on week. Please do come forward for a test if symptomatic. Not everyone is protected yet, Mr Reid added.
There are growing fears in Government that the Covid-19 Delta variant could be responsible for more than 1,000 cases a day by July 19th, the date on which international travel is due to resume and the hospitality industry hopes to reopen indoors.
Ministers are expected to be briefed at Tuesdays Cabinet meeting on updated modelling from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) that suggests a surge of Delta variant infections is likely to be under way within 10 days to two weeks.
However, officials do not expect these cases to lead to a corresponding rise in hospital admissions as vaccination provides strong protection against falling seriously ill with Covid-19.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the Delta variant is beginning to have an impact in Ireland.
Speaking on his way into the Cabinet meeting, he said the Government was very worried as numbers were increasing and the numbers coming forward for testing had also increased in the past week. We do need to be careful about this, to be sensible.
Mr Martin said when this summer and last summer were compared, many more facilities were open, adding progress had been made and had to be protected. What was happening in the UK was being monitored, especially the relationship between the number of Delta cases and the level of hospitalisations, he said.
Nphet reported a further 365 cases of the disease on Monday and said 51 people with Covid-19 were being treated in hospitals including 14 in intensive care.