Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan Sam Boal
latest figures

Covid-19: 23,817 new confirmed cases, 941 in hospital and 90 in ICU

The latest figures were confirmed by the Department of Health today.

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE reported an additional 23,817 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland today.

As of 8am this morning, 941 people were in hospital with the virus, 90 of whom were receiving treatment in intensive care.

Yesterday, there were 17,656 cases of Covid-19 reported, with 928 people in hospital and 94 in ICU. The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) also reported 40 deaths in the last week due to Covid-19.

The latest figures come in the wake of warnings from NPHET that the PCR testing system has been overwhelmed by the volume of the disease in the country, and that the true volume of cases is much higher.

Speaking earlier today at a HSE press briefing, HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid said that there is “no doubt” that a large number of cases are being missed.

“There’s no doubt we haven’t seen the total volume that we’re seeing. There’s much more than what we’re seeing coming through in our daily published cases, absolutely no doubt” said Reid.

“When you see 60% positivity level in the community, you can make all the assumptions on what the volume is.

“I don’t think there is a definitive figure.”

The HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry, echoed Reid’s comments, saying that there may be one or two additional cases for every official case reported.

“There is no doubt that there’s under-ascertainment of cases… positivity rate of 60% in community referral is huge” said Henry.

“It may well be that for every case we’re picking up, maybe one or possibly even two more cases out there either through the fact that people are not symptomatic or for any other reason they’re not being picked up.

“That’s why the focus shifts, we get to this level on mitigation and on the individual responses that people must make, with or without tests.”

Henry said that the current advice for people who have Covid-19 symptoms is that they isolate and get tested if they can, and continue to isolate until at least 48 hours after symptoms have gone.

“That focus on a population level is what will break down transmission, not the testing alone.”

Changes to guidelines around who should seek a PCR test were announced last week in a bid to ease the pressure on the system, including advice for symptomatic people in younger age groups to instead take regular antigen tests and only seek a PCR test if they receive a positive antigen result first.

The daily case number figures released each evening are likely to give an underestimate of the level of Covid-19 in Ireland compared to earlier periods in the pandemic when the daily figures were much lower.

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