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Just how bad can Omicron get?



The speed with which the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has spread in Ireland set off the alarm bells in the corridors of power like almost never before.

While the hope is that the vaccination programme in Ireland will stop many people falling seriously ill, the surge in case numbers could still see the hospital system overwhelmed in the weeks ahead.

Nphet met on Thursday evening to consider what to do next and the Cabinet will meet today with more restrictions likely to be rolled out almost immediately.

Severe curtailments on hospitality and sporting fixtures are to be imposed and people will be asked to avoid large gatherings and deploy other measures to try and slow the spread of the illness.

The Government is also speeding up its booster programme with the aim of getting as many jabs into as many arms as possible as fast as possible.

Irish Times Health Editor Paul Cullen and Irish Times Political Correspondent Jennifer Bray talk to In The News about the health and political implications of Omicron and assess what is likely to happen next.

You can listen to the podcast here:

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