From going back to basics to taking care while trick or treating, here are some of the key takeaways from the latest briefing by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

58% of ICU patients not fully vaccinated

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn shared figures from a new audit on patients being treated in ICU with Covid-19.

Dr Glynn announced that 42% of people in ICU are fully vaccinated.

He said that the key point is that 58% of people in intensive care are not fully vaccinated, and that the unvaccinated are disproportionately represented.

NPHET urged people who have been offered a vaccine to take it and to make sure to present for the second dose.

Back to basics

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan stressed the importance of keeping basic public health advice in mind and for the public not to become complacent.

Hand-washing, social distancing, mask-wearing and avoiding crowded places were all key things the CMO reiterated.

He said these measures should be kept at the forefront of each individual's mind and described them as our first line of protection against Covid-19.

CMO hopeful not to recommend more restrictions

Dr Holohan said he is hopeful that the current infection rate will slow down if people continue to follow public health advice and the basic hygiene steps that we have grown so accustomed to since the beginning of the pandemic.

He said that it is "growing at a rate that is concerning", but that it is not too late to turn a corner.

When asked if there would be a "circuit-breaker" needed, such as another lockdown or increased restrictions, Dr Holohan said they hope they do not have to enter into conversations about recommending further measures.

Trick or treat

With Halloween just days away, Dr Glynn said that trick or treating can go ahead for children.

He urged parents not to allow children who are unwell to participate in any activities with others over the weekend.

Another recommendation was that people should try to limit mixing with a number of different groups as this could lead to further spreading of the disease.

With those safety precautions in mind, Dr Glynn said he is sure people can enjoy Halloween and Halloween-based activities.

Personal risk assessments are key

Dr Holohan said that it will be key for each individual to undertake a personal risk assessment before engaging in social activities in high-risk settings.

He suggested that people think before meeting vulnerable people after engaging in these activities, and to only enter into high-risk settings once in a while, as opposed to every day.

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