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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan
Image: RollingNews.ie

Coronavirus: 11 deaths and 1,754 new cases confirmed in Ireland

In excess of 9,000 additional new cases will be reported over the coming days, NPHET has warned.
Jan 1st 2021, 6:44 PM 198,600 230

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE this evening reported 1,754 more cases of Covid-19 in Ireland and said that more than 9,000 cases will be reported over the coming days. 

A further 11 people with the coronavirus have also died, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). 

This brings to 2,248 the total number of people with Covid-19 who have died in Ireland and 93,532 total confirmed coronavirus cases.

The latest figures were released as health officials warn Ireland’s epidemiological situation is serious and that the virus is spreading rapidly amongst all age groups.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 846 are men / 900 are women
  • 64% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 35 years old
  • 523 in Dublin, 296 in Cork, 180 in Galway, 104 in Mayo, 94 in Kerry and the remaining 557 cases are spread across all other counties.  

As of 2pm today, 504 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 47 are in ICU. 46 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “The most concerning trend at present is the rapidly increasing number of people being admitted to hospital – we are now admitting between 50 – 70 people a day to our hospital system. Unfortunately, we expect this to get worse before it gets better. Our health system will not continue to cope with this level of impact.

“We have also seen a significant increase in positive laboratory tests in recent days reflecting a true increase in the incidence of the disease as well as the delay in people coming forward for testing over the Christmas period. As our systems catch up with these effects it places significant pressure on our reporting system. 

“We have always understood that numbers of positive tests or confirmed cases would be a less reliable indicator over the Christmas period. This is typical of infectious disease reporting annually over the two weeks of Christmas and New Year.

“What is clear are the measures that the Government has now mandated and the behaviours that we as individuals need to observe. Everyone needs to stay at home other than for essential work or care.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “Tests processed and reported on a given day will normally be validated and confirmed by the HPSC the following day. Positive tests detected in laboratories require validation (to remove duplicates and other tests that do not create new cases) and transfer to the HPSC database before confirmation and reporting.

“A very large volume of positive tests in recent days means there is a delay in formal reporting. In excess of 9,000 additional new cases will be reported over the coming days. The reporting delay does not affect case management or contact tracing or our overall monitoring and modelling of the pandemic,” he said. 

The following table has been included by the Department of Health today to show both positive tests and confirmed cases in the latest 14-day period.

Normally, the number of confirmed cases reported on a given day correlates with the number of positive tests the preceding day, allowing for validation and removal of duplicates.

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Screenshot 2021-01-01 at 18.57.47 - Display 2 Source: Department of Health

Once the delays that have arisen in recent days have been resolved, NPHET will no longer report the laboratory test results. 

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, HSE CEO Paul Reid today warned of significant challenges facing the health service as widespread community transmission of the virus takes root across the country.

He added that 25,000 people are expected to be vaccinated by the end of the next week.

“I have no doubt 2021 will be a much brighter year [than 2020]” he told the programme,  describing the start as “not great”.

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