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Coronavirus: Four deaths and 744 new cases confirmed in Ireland

There have been 50 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Image: Sam Boal

A FURTHER 744 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Ireland, the National Public Health Emergency Team has said.

Due to a drop in the number of people seeking Covid-19 tests in the past two days, it’s expected that there are more cases in the community than today’s numbers reflect. 

There have been just 3,364 Covid-19 tests carried out in the previous 24 hours, compared to 105,955 tests in the past 7 days (an average of 15,136 tests a day).

In a statement, NPHET said that a further four people confirmed to have Covid-19 have died.

The death toll from Covid-19 in Ireland is 2,204, and the total number of confirmed cases is now at 86,129*.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 388 are men, 354 are women
  • 64% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 34 years old
  • 246 in Dublin, 131 in Cork, 51 in Limerick, 40 in Wexford, 33 in Donegal and the remaining 243 cases are spread across 19 other counties. 

As of 8am today, 324 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 26 are in ICU. There have been 50 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “We have seen a significant increase in the number of hospitalisations in the last two weeks from less than 190 to 324 today. This indicates a deteriorating disease trajectory nationally and is a significant reminder of the severity of this disease.

“There have been further increases across key indicators of Covid-19 right across the country and the growth rate of the epidemic has accelerated in recent days.

Due to the lower volume of tests being carried out over Christmas Day and yesterday, we believe there are higher levels of disease circulating in the community than today’s reported case numbers reflect. We expect, therefore, to see a large increase in cases reported over the coming days.
If we do not act now to stop the spread of Covid-19, we will not be able to protect those in our society that are most at risk of serious illness or death.

“Stay home, do not visit friends or family unless you are providing essential care and do not have visitors to your home. Follow the public health advice.”

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Counties 27

Yesterday there was a record 1,296 cases confirmed, with the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan warning that community transmission now is as high as it was during the second wave of the disease, before Level 5 restrictions were imposed for six weeks.

The first delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 arrived in Ireland yesterday. HSE chief Paul Reid announced this afternoon that Ireland’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout would begin on Tuesday, a day earlier than expected

*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 9 confirmed cases. 

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