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Coronavirus: 2,148 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Ireland

A NPHET briefing is being held this afternoon at the Department of Health.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE confirmed a further 2,148 cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has also confirmed a further 63 deaths notified in the past week, bringing to 5,369 the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland. 

As of 8am today, 464 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 86 are in ICU.

The ICU figures reflect a significant increase of 12 in the past 24 hours and comes amid concern about a rise in daily cases.

Yesterday’s figure of 2,399 new cases was the highest daily case number recorded since January 2021.

The five-day moving average is 1,937.

A NPHET media briefing involving Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan is being held this afternoon at the Department of Health, the first such briefing since August.

Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group Professor Philip Nolan said there has been a worrying and very large number of admissions to intensive care in the last day (14).

He said there had been a slow increase in the number in ICU from 60 four weeks ago to 74 on average over the last week and “then worryingly, just in the last day, a very large number of admissions to intensive care”.

Dr Tony Holon said the increase in covid cases and hospital admissions ware “worrying and concerning” and he anticipates will be followed by a rise in deaths
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“Disease incidence is high and increasing across the country and across all age groups. However, vaccination has helped us prevent many serious illnesses and deaths,” said Holohan.

“Covid-19 is one of the most contagious viruses we have ever experienced. We have achieved extensive suppression of this disease in the past, our collective commitment to the basic measures now need to be reviewed and enhanced.

“While vaccination rates are extremely high, they are only one tool we need to use in protecting ourselves against,” he added, stressing that another tool is compliance with basic public health measures by the general public and across sectors.

Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group Professor Philip Nolan notes that with relatively even levels of vaccination across all age groups, the median age of cases (36 years) has increased over recent weeks and is approaching the median age of the population (38 years) indicating that risk of infection is evenly distributed across the population.

“This also shows us that higher levels of socialisation rather than a waning of vaccine efficacy is the cause of this uptick in cases,” he added.

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Chief Nursing Officer at the Department of Health Rachel Kenna urged parents of children under 18 to re-evaluate their position on vaccination as over 30% of that population are unvaccinated.

“I would urge parents to re-evaluate their position on vaccination and contact their GP or a healthcare professional for advice and information to address their concerns. Vaccines protect individuals from the more severe symptoms of Covid-19.”

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told the Fine Gael parliamentary party this evening that the rising Covid-19 case numbers are worrying.

The meeting heard the country’s cases were rising off a high base and while there was some evidence of vaccine waning, the main cause was increased socialisation.

The Fine Gael leader said there will be greater use of antigen testing nationwide but it was “not a panacea”.

He said everyone should exercise all precautionary measures and encouraged all people to get vaccinated, noting that the vast majority in ICU are not vaccinated while half of the patients in hospital are not vaccinated.

- With reporting from Adam Daly and Christina Finn

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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