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Coronavirus: 3,578 new cases confirmed in Ireland

The Department of Health confirmed the figures today.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS have confirmed 3,578 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

As of 8am today, 520 people are in hospital with the coronavirus disease, of whom 83 are in intensive care units.

Yesterday, 3,161 new cases of the illness were reported. A total of 498 people were in hospital with the illness, including 78 in ICU.

“We have reported over 44,000 cases in the past 14 days. The volume of disease in the community is really very high and represents a significant risk to those who are most vulnerable in our society,” Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said.

“We need to continue to use all of the tools available to us to protect ourselves and others. By layering all of the public health measures with which we are now so familiar, we can help to break the chains of transmission.

“Ensure that you are washing your hands regularly, wearing a mask on public transport and in other social settings, try to meet others outdoors and ensure that indoor spaces are well-ventilated. And of course it remains essential that anyone with symptoms isolates and gets tested,” Dr Holohan concluded.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin updated Cabinet today on Covid-19, stating that rates across the country are high and have been increasing at a concerning rate, especially in the 19 to 24 age group.

The growth rate of cases is currently estimated at an average of 3.3% a day, he said, though he noted that booster rollout in older age groups will help reduce this.

Outbreaks in settings with vulnerable populations, such as nursing homes, continue to be closely monitored, he added. 

There has been a fall in the ratio of case numbers that translate into hospitalisations from 35 admissions per 1000 cases to 25 in recent weeks, though he said it is too early to know if this is an established trend, or could it be because of case numbers in younger populations and boosters for older age groups.

The Taoiseach said the hospital system is coming under sustained pressure due to Covid-19 and non-Covid admissions.

He said even in optimistic scenarios, numbers in ICU are unlikely to fall below 50 until December at the earliest, and could rise again.

Micheál Martin said the HSE’s Winter Plan has commenced to relieve pressure on hospital admissions through increased diagnostic capacity and with the use of private hospital beds.

To date in 2021, 55,000 bed days in private hospitals have been used, treating 17,500 patients, he said.

Currently, there are 297 permanent baseline critical care beds, up from 255 in early 2020, said the Taoiseach, adding that work is ongoing for another 43 permanent beds.

Cabinet was also told that the demand for testing and tracing remains high, and the Expert Advisory Group on Rapid Antigen Testing in considering the wider roll out of antigen testing, as per a request from NPHET.

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In terms of vaccinations, more than 90% of over 12s are now fully vaccinated.

Cabinet was updated on Pfizer’s application to the EMA for approval of a vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, and were told the outcome will not be known for a number of weeks.

In regards to the vaccination programme, the booster campaign for long term residential care facility residents is now substantially complete.

Booster vaccinations for those aged 80 and older living in the community is expected to be close to completion by mid-November, with 129,000 completed to date. 

As of 31 October, an estimated 43,000 people of the 73,000 identified as being immunocompromised had received their booster. The HSE’s operational plan for those aged 60 to 79 is underway.

The 336,000 in the 70 to 79 group will get boosters via a GP, while those aged 60 to 69, around 475,000 people, will be done via vaccination centre by the end of December.

With Christina Finn

About the author:

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