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What does this week's Covid-19 data tell us about Ireland's progress?

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said on Thursday that Ireland “is in a far better position” but that “we do have a way to go” yet.

IT’S LOOKING UP. 

A total of 1,492 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed across Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – compared to 1,586 new cases reported over the same period last week and 1,854 the previous week – marking a drop of 21% since Friday 2 April. 

Ireland’s national incidence rate is 119 cases per 100,000 of the population on a 14-day rolling average, according to data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, compared to 147.3 this day last week and 164.9 on 2 April. 

Looking at 14-day incidence rates in individual counties, Offaly remains the county with the highest incidence of Covid-19 in Ireland at 211.6 cases per 100,000.

Kildare is the second-highest county in Ireland with a 14-day incidence rate of 196.1 while Donegal is third-highest at 190.3 

Looking at Local Electoral Area data, Tullamore, Co Offaly remains the area with the highest individual incidence of Covid-19 at 408.1 cases per 100,000.

For a breakdown of Covid-19 incidence rates in LEAs around Ireland, see here

Counties with the current lowest incidence rates include Sligo (18.3), Kilkenny (24.2) and Clare (37). 

There has not been a single case of Covid-19 reported in Sligo over the past 10 days. 

Between 70% and 75% of cases this week were in people aged under 45.

Screenshot 2021-04-16 14.36.10 - Display 2 As seen in the above chart the number of deaths associated with Covid-19 continues to decline since late January. Source: Department of Health

It was expected that cases would continue to stall. But – as vaccination kicks in and people stick to mixing outdoors – incidence has continually decreased. 

Looking to Europe, Ireland now has one of the lowest incidence rates among European countries, just slightly behind Finland (105.93) and Malta (140.51).

European countries with the highest rate of Covid-19 include Hungary (861), Poland (839) and France (762). 

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said on Thursday that Ireland “is in a far better position” but that “we do have a way to go” yet. 

Hospital & ICU

Cases in hospital continue to decline.  

There were 15 hospital admissions in the last 24 hours and 18 discharges up to Friday. 

There were – as of Friday morning – 190 confirmed Covid-19 cases in hospital and 51 people in Intensive Care Units.

On Friday 20 March, there were 336 people hospitalised with Covid-19, reducing 226 on 9 April to 190 today. 

Testing/Tracing/Outbreaks

Approximately 105,000 tests have been carried out over the past 7 days up to Friday – a reduction on  110,000 test average per week between 27 March and 9 April. 

The positivity rate has reduced further to 2.8% having stood at 3% last week and 3.8% three weeks ago. 

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Screenshot 2021-04-16 13.32.18 - Display 2 Source: Department of Health

According to HSE figures released this week two Dublin walk-in test centres – Mulhuddart and Finglas had the highest positivity rate last weekend at just under 6%.

It is not surprising given the aim of these walk-in centres is to target areas of high incidence to reduce Community Transmission.

Considering Dublin’s high incidence rate – 608 out of the last 1,492 cases.

This week was the first since August 2020 with no new outbreaks in nursing homes, according to HPSC data.

Incidence in healthcare workers has also collapsed as vaccination takes effect – There has been a 98% decrease in this cohort since a peak in early January. 

Deaths in those over 65 are declining each week – The number of deaths in this age group was less than 30 per week in late February and has declined further to 3 deaths this week. 

Health officials expect to see a similar collapse in Covid-19 in people aged over 65 as Ireland’s vaccination programme is rolled out. 

Finally, as of Tuesday, 1,121,003 vaccines had been administered in Ireland – 789,526 were first doses representing 20.2% of Ireland’s total population with 331,477 people now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.  

 

***

The Journal each Friday takes a look at Ireland’s Covid-19 situation by examining and comparing data from previous weeks. If you’d like to get in touch with any queries related to these figures contact conal@thejournal.ie. 

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