“We’re on the downward slope of the 4th wave of Covid 19, however, there is no certainty that incidents won’t rise again”, that’s according to the CEO of Saolta, Tony Canavan.

Mr Canavan was speaking at this afternoon’s virtual HSE West Forum meeting and he acknowledged the role that the public has played in adapting and taking on board the regulations and vaccination programme provided.

He insisted that the impact of vaccinations is the key difference between this 4th wave and previous waves of the virus nationally.

He said there is a lack of certainty on what happens from here in terms of the vaccination programme, nonetheless he said there will be greater clarity shortly.

For now the infrastructure of the mass vaccination centres will stay in place, while staff at these centres will be retained, in the event that the services may be required again.

He acknowledged the 5209 people who died in the Republic with Covid since March 2020 and the thousands of people that contracted the virus over that time and its impact on their lives.

He praised the co-operation of the gardai, the army and local authorities working with the statutory and voluntary healthcare services throughout the pandemic, to date.