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Tag Archives: Covid-19

Clare has the third highest Covid-19 death rate

Call made for public inquiry to pinpoint cause A PUBLIC inquiry is needed to establish why Clare has the third highest Covid-19 death rate in the country, according to a local Dáil Deputy. A Clare Champion analysis of Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures for Covid-19 related deaths has revealed the death rate from the virus when compared with confirmed cases is the third highest in the country. The CSO figures show there were 4,868 cases and 115 deaths in the Banner county, giving a death rate of 2.36% from the start of the pandemic until April 30 last. This places Clare in the top three as only Mayo on 2.8% and Wicklow on 2.76% had a higher death rate. Waterford had the second highest death rate in Munster on 1.94% after recording 109 deaths from 5,597 cases. While Limerick had 2.3 times more confirmed cases than Clare with a total of 11,361, it had 215 deaths, giving a death rate …

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Clare bus operator not banking on travel bounce

WHILE international travel is set to kick off again on July 19, local bus operator PJ Keogh says he doesn’t feel there will be any great influx of visitors, with the wider world also reeling from the pandemic’s impact. From the 19th of the month, the current plan is that Ireland will begin to operate the EU Digital Covid Certificate for travel originating within the EU and the European Economic Area (which includes the UK). A DCC will show if a passenger has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has recovered from Covid-19 in the past nine months or has had a negative test result taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival here. Those passengers with a DCC will then not have to undergo quarantine. Speaking on Wednesday, PJ Keogh, who runs PK Travel in Shannon, said that while the easing of restrictions on international travel is helpful, he doesn’t expect to see very many tourists this year. “Everything helps, …

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Rain dampens publican’s trade

PUBLICANS received bad news last week when the return of indoor dining and drinking was put on hold, and that has been compounded since, with wet and miserable weather deterring people who might have been content to socialise outdoors. Speaking on Tuesday, Ennis publican and Ennis Chamber President, Darragh McAllister said the change in weather brought a big change in business. “Oh completely, it’s down by over half. We kind of knew it was coming as well, with people unsure about the weather they wouldn’t head out into it. It had a massive effect, it was always going to do.” While there are a number of pubs open again, he says few are profitable due to the restrictions and increased obligations on publicans. “The few places that can do it are still limited, there are only so many people you can have anyway. In reality the whole thing isn’t viable without the supports that are in place, it’s not viable …

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Response from 18 – 34 year olds to Covid vaccine in pharmacies “phenomenal”

AN Ennis pharmacist has described the demand for the Covid-19 vaccine from 18 to 34 year olds as “phenomenal”. From Monday a number of pharmacies in Clare started administering Covid-19 vaccines to the 18-34 year old cohort as part of the national programme. According to pharmacist Brendan Rochford of Rochford’s Pharmacies in Ennis and Corofin, “The announcement on Friday morning caught us completely by surprise. The phones started ringing non-stop from 9am last Friday. “Our staff have been fantastic dealing with such a huge volume of enquiries.” Rochford’s had already been administering vaccines to the over 50s age group but, according to Brendan the numbers were much smaller compared to the volume of enquiries they have received for the 18-34 yr old age group.  “We have an online vaccine booking system on our website www.rochfordspharmacy.ie which is very efficient but we had to get this set up for the 18-34 year old age group so it was late on Friday before we got …

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24k vaccines delivered by UHLG in last week

MORE than 24,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine were administered by the UL Hospitals’ Group last week, as the incidence of the virus remains low in Clare. In the week to close of business on Sunday, July 4, a total of 24,081 doses of Covid-19 vaccine were administered across the group’s three area vaccination centres in Limerick Racecourse, Treacy’s West County Hotel, Ennis, and the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh. This brings to 216,762 the total vaccines administered under the UL Hospitals’ Group programme since it began on January 4, and includes healthcare workers, residents and staff of nursing homes, and patients in the various cohorts and age groups. This figure does not include the vaccination work undertaken by their colleagues in Mid-West Community Healthcare, the National Ambulance Service, General Practitioners and pharmacists. The regional total for the group’s Covid-19 vaccination programme last week was composed of 14,086 vaccines administered in Limerick Racecourse; 4,746 in the West County, Ennis; and 5,249 in …

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Surge in vaccine demand

CLARE pharmacists are struggling to meet the “phenomenal” demand for Covid-19 vaccines for the 18 to 34-year-old cohort, with a lack of supply leaving young people facing waiting times. Last Friday’s unexpected announcement from Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirming pharmacies would be administering the vaccine to this young cohort resulted in a huge volumes of calls for appointments, which resulted in regular patients experiencing difficulties getting through on phone lines to order medication. There was a huge surge in Kilkee where Sean Hurst of Hurst Pharmacy, estimated he had 4,500 enquiries due the huge influx of holidaymakers in the popular West Clare resort since the minister’s announcement. He said Kilkee has the capacity to take 25,000 holidaymakers and daytrippers over the weekend, who would all happily walk into his pharmacy for the vaccine following media reports vaccines would be made available last weekend. “It was phenomenal. People were ringing us from Ennis to get a vaccine. I am the only …

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Fun for all the family at Féile Brian Boru

A FEAST of entertainment fit for a king will be offered online and outdoor for locals and visitors during the 28th annual Féile Brian Ború, which runs from July 7 to July 11. Last year, people were disappointed with the cancellation of the festival due to Covid-19. However, it goes ahead this year, albeit with some changes in line with Covid-19 restrictions. Earlier in this year, Arlene White of Féile Brian Ború, recalled the organising committee weren’t sure if the festival would go ahead and were fortunate to apply for, and be granted funding. “I think it could be very hard to come back and organise a festival next year, if we took this year off, presuming next July should be okay concerning Covid-19. “There is a buzz of excitement about the festival this year. While we don’t have events organised for Sunday, July 11, we are hoping people will download one of the new apps and explore the sites …

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New hospitality plan is branded a ‘smokescreen’

THE Clare chair of the Vintner’s Federation of Ireland (VFI) has described the government’s plans to restrict indoor hospitality to vaccinated people only as “a total smokescreen”. Charlie O’Meara characterised the mood of the county’s 160 VFI members as one of “annoyance, anger and frustration” at news that indoor hospitality will not now resume until July 19, at the earliest, and that unvaccinated people may be banned. The Ennis publican said he now fears for what faces the trade this winter when government supports come to an end and vintners try to restart their businesses, without the benefit of the normal summer takings. “There has been absolutely terrible treatment of our members,” he told The Champion. “There’s been no respect whatsoever and the government would have been happy enough, once again, to leave this issue to the eleventh hour, but for the fact that the VFI in Dublin put pressure on them to make a decision. It’s just not good …

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