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11,182 new coronavirus cases confirmed - Ireland's highest daily total

The Department of Health has estimated that Omicron accounts for 83% of cases now.

Image: Sam Boal

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS have been notified of 11,182 further cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, with Omicron now estimated to account for 83% of confirmed cases. As of 8am, 393 people were in hospital with the virus, 89 of whom are in intensive care.

This is now Ireland’s highest daily total – the previous highest daily case number was on 8 January when 8,227 coronavirus cases were confirmed.

Yesterday, 7,411 new cases were confirmed, a total of 390 Covid-19 patients were in hospital and 98 people were in ICU. Paul Reid said yesterday that over 50% of people currently in ICU have no Covid vaccine; just 6% of Ireland’s adult population are unvaccinated.

The Department of Health said that Omicron is now estimated to make up approximately 83% of reported cases, based on analysis that uses the so-called ‘S gene target failure’. 

Northern Ireland has also recorded one of its highest daily Covid-19 case numbers – with 3,286 positive cases confirmed and three Covid-related deaths reported in the past 24 hours. Yesterday there were 3,227 cases, and on Wednesday there were 3,231 cases confirmed.

NPHET’s predictions

In NPHET’s last modelling predictions for the disease for this Covid wave, the best case scenario forecasted 8,000 cases a day, and 20,000 cases a day are expected in the worst case scenario.

The more optimistic scenarios show 8,000-10,000 cases per day, 500-750 people requiring general hospital care, and 150-250 people requiring critical care, or 650-1,000 people in total in hospital at peak. 

“The more pessimistic scenarios show in excess of 20,000 cases per day, over 1,500 people requiring general hospital care, and in excess of 400 people requiring critical care, or more than 2,000 people in total in hospital overall at peak.”

There is a delay of several days between Covid-19 infections and the number of infections that translate into hospitalisations, though the link between the two has been reduced due to high uptake of Covid-19 vaccinations.

PCR testing demand

The HSE lead for the vaccination programme Damien McCallion said this morning that PCR testing services had been under pressure in the last 48 hours, but that slots would become available over the coming days.

Testing services would continue over Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day, he said, although at a “slightly reduced service”.

The Department of Health said that due to the “large volumes of case numbers” expected over the Christmas period, the daily confirmed Covid-19 case numbers will be based on positive results uploaded to the HSE Covid Care Tracker from the previous day, which is provisional data.

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