'Situation improving' says Nphet as 772 new Covid cases reported

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health during a briefing at the Department of Health in Dublin. Photo: PA
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Tomas Doherty

Six further deaths and 772 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the Republic.

There has now been a total of 1,908 coronavirus-related deaths in the State.

Of the new cases, 64 per cent are in people aged under 45, with 228 cases located in Dublin, 120 in Cork, 50 in Meath, 41 in Donegal, 41 in Galway and the remaining 292 cases spread across all other counties in the Republic.

Some 325 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, with 42 in intensive case. There were 15 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

Counties Cavan and Meath have the highest infection rates in the State.

In Cavan, the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population is 669.5. In Meath, it now stands at 546.5 and in Westmeath at 413.4. The next highest counties are Sligo at 363.2 and Galway at 341.4.

The latest data shows the infection rate in Dublin for the past two weeks is at 251.6 cases per 100,000 people, below the national rate of 287.1 and lower than 15 other counties.


'Early days'

The chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, noted the “overall situation has improved” but said it was still “early days”.

“This improvement will only be maintained if we keep going in our efforts,” he said.

“We have to remember that incidence is increasing in older age groups, who are particularly vulnerable to this disease. The way in which we can protect them is if we continue to drive down transmission across the whole population.”

Epidemiologist Prof Philip Nolan said the reproduction rate of the disease, or R rate, is close to 1.

The R rate measures how many people a person with Covid-19 infects on average, with a rate below 1 meaning the virus is in decline.

Prof Nolan said this was the first time in a number of weeks that “positive indicators” of the disease had been reported but that progress was “very fragile”.

“We should take these positive signs as an indication our efforts are starting to work, the critical thing now is to keep it up, the virus will seek out any opportunity to spread,” he said.

Northern Ireland

Meanwhile nine further Covid-19-linked deaths and 566 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the North.

The death toll recorded by the North's Department of Health now stands at 697.

There have been 37,782 confirmed cases in region.

Covid-19 in NI: Nine further deaths and 566 new ca...
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There are 354 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, with 43 in intensive care.

Earlier it was reported the weekly Covid-19 death toll in the North had risen for the second week in a row.

There were 37 Covid-19 related deaths recorded by the region’s statistics agency, up from 27 the previous week.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency bulletin, which reports with a week lag, put the death toll at the end of last week at 979.

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