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Covid-19: 20,909 cases, 1,055 in hospital, 83 deaths notified in past week

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

Image: Leah Farrell

Updated Jan 12th 2022, 6:30 PM

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE reported an additional 20,909 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland today.

As of 8am this morning, 1,055 people were in hospital with the virus, 92 of whom were receiving treatment in intensive care.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) said that there had been 83 deaths notified in the past week, bringing Ireland’s total to 6,035. Last week, there were 40 deaths notified.

Yesterday, there were 19,290 cases of Covid-19 reported, with 1,062 people in hospital and 92 in ICU.

On Wednesday last week, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) said that there had been 40 deaths notified in the week previous, bringing Ireland’s total to 5,952. Deaths are announced on Wednesday every week. 

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.

Changes to guidelines around who should seek a PCR test were announced two weeks ago 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.

As a result of the guidance changes and the ongoing strain on the PCR system, the daily case number figures released each evening underestimate of the level of Covid-19 in Ireland compared to earlier periods in the pandemic when the daily figures were much lower.

It was confirmed today that close contacts who have received a booster jab and have no symptoms will be advised that they do not have to restrict their movements.

Government has also agreed to accept public health advice received yesterday that people who test positive on an antigen test won’t need a confirmatory PCR test. It is instead planned that they will be able to log their test result online.

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All close contacts are nonetheless advised to take an antigen test before entering crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces and are also asked to wear an appropriate face mask in those spaces. 

All close contacts are also asked to “limit contact” with people outside their household and to “avoid contact” with anyone who may be at higher risk from Covid-19.

With reporting by Christina Finn and Hayley Halpin

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