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Coronavirus: No new deaths and 727 new cases confirmed in Ireland

Dr Tony Holohan said the disease trends are “gravely concerning”.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan

A FURTHER 727 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Ireland, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has said this evening.

There were no new deaths recorded among people with the virus and the death toll from Covid-19 in Ireland remains 2,158. The total number of confirmed cases is now at 80,267.

As of 2pm today 241 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 29 are in ICU. There was 18 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours. 

Of the cases notified today:

  • 359 are men and 366 are women
  • 62% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 36 years old
  • 311 cases were in Dublin, 51 in Kilkenny, 48 in Wexford, 44 in Donegal, 44 in Cork and the remaining 229 cases are spread across 19 other counties

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the disease trends are “gravely concerning”. 

“The situation has deteriorated rapidly in recent days. A total of 3,837 cases have been notified in the past 7 days,” he said.

The five day rolling average has increased from 339 on 17th December to 616 on 21st December, an 82% increase. It is now as important as it was back in March to limit your contacts and protect your loved ones.

The Chair of NPHET’s epidemiological modelling advisory group, Professor Philip Nolan, said the virus is transmitting faster than at any point since March. 

“The case numbers are growing at least 5-7% per day and, of particular concern, across all age groups,” Professor Nolan said.

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Dr Cillian De Gascun of the National Virus Reference Laboratory said the variant of the virus that has spread rapidly in parts of the UK has still not been detected in Ireland.

“However, as we know the variant has been circulating in the UK since September, therefore we cannot exclude the possibility that the variant is already in Ireland,” he said.

Rules around inter-county travel and visits to other households were relaxed on Friday, but a sharp rise in cases in the past week has led NPHET to recommend implementing fresh restrictions earlier than the new year as previously indicated.

Cabinet is set to consider the recommendations from NPHET at a meeting tomorrow morning. 

About the author:

Sean Murray

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