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Covid-19: 23,909 cases brings Ireland's total to one million since pandemic began, with 1,063 in hospital, 89 in ICU today

The latest figures were reported by the Department of Health today.
Jan 10th 2022, 5:51 PM 90,207 151

Updated Jan 10th 2022, 5:56 PM

IRELAND HAS NOW recorded more than one million cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Public health officials confirmed an additional 23,909 cases of the virus in Ireland this evening, which brings us to 1,002,013 cases.

As of this morning, 1,063 people were in hospital with Covid, 89 of whom were in intensive care.

The Omicron variant, now dominant in Ireland, has driven case numbers to record highs over recent weeks.

Half of all cases recorded in Ireland have been notified to health authorities since 15 November, when Ireland passed the 500,000 mark.

It previously took from February 2020 to January 2021 to reach 100,000.

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 could be up to 40% higher.

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

Speaking in Cork earlier today Taoiseach Micheál Martin ruled out a mandatory vaccination programme across the State.

“I think Nphet will examine every issue, so it can give advice to Government from time to time.

“I’ve been very clear that I favour the voluntary approach to vaccination.

“We’ve done extraordinarily well as a country in terms of a 94%vaccination rate for the first and second dose and even 63% for the booster.

“We’re top of the European Union league table in terms of the booster campaign.

“I think that speaks volumes for informing the public about the benefits of vaccination, and also the robust debate that has taken place, with strong medical and public health contributions.

“Not just those in officialdom, but those in the academic world, those involved in the medicine world, who have been very, very clear about the value of vaccination.”

Martin said that vaccination had played a huge role in Ireland’s Covid-19 response, and that without it, the country would currently be in a level five lockdown with infection rates at over 20,000 cases a day.

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.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health appealed to the public to act to protect the vulnerable. 

“Today, we continue to report a very high level of incidence of COVID-19 in the community. It is essential for everyone to protect themselves and others from infection.

“Every small action to limit the spread of this disease is vital, as we continue to experience a large volume of patients in hospital, up a third on this time last week.

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“Remember that behind each hospital statistic and ICU figure is an individual, with family and friends, and a team of healthcare workers providing care to them in very difficult circumstances.

“The best way we can continue to support our health service and protect each other is to continue to follow the public health advice as best we can – staying home and isolating if we have symptoms, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, opening windows, wearing facemasks and working from home where possible,” he said.     

 

Holohan said that one critical way to protect the rest of the population was to vaccinate young children.

“Our most important layer of protection throughout this pandemic continues to be the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine programme is now open to all children between 5 -11 years of age and we know that the benefits of vaccinating children far outweigh the risks. 

“Most children will experience a very mild form of this disease, for a small few, they may become severely ill. The COVID-19 vaccines are doing an excellent job of preventing severe illness and disease in those who are fully vaccinated.

“Getting your child vaccinated is a decision between you and your child. I would encourage all parents and guardians to discuss this update to our vaccination programme with your child and ensure that they are aware that vaccination is available to them.

“I would also encourage you to engage with the trusted health advice available on the HSE website, and with your own family clinician if you have any concerns about bringing your child for this vaccine,” he added. 

With reporting from the Press Association. 

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