13 further Covid-19 related deaths and 938 additional cases have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland as the country enters new Level 5 restrictions.
Of the deaths reported today, 10 occurred in December. There has been a total of 2,184 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.
As of midnight Tuesday, December 22nd, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has been notified of 938 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 82,155 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Of the cases notified today:
- 416 are men/517 are women.
- 65 per cent are under 45 years of age.
- The median age is 36 years old.
- 300 are in Dublin, 110 in Cork, 72 in Limerick, 68 in Donegal, 41 in Kildare and the remaining 347 cases are spread across 21 other counties.
As of 2pm today, 251 Covid-19 patients are being treated in Irish hospitals, of which 25 are in ICU. 24 additional Covid-19 cases have been recorded in hospitals in the last 24 hours.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “Nphet [the National Public Health Emergency Team] met today and reviewed the current epidemiological situation and has made recommendations to government. Every indicator of the disease is rising and rising rapidly. Our level of concern continues to escalate. We must do all we can individually and collectively to change the course of this disease.”
Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: "The epidemiological situation reviewed today is the most serious it has been since last March. People should act at all times as if they or those they come into contact with are infectious. The disease has spread across all parts of the country and all age groups, we must act now to protect each other.
“It is inevitable that people will get sick and die as a result of this escalation, but it is not too late for all of us to do all we can to minimise that impact and to protect as many people as possible.”
Meanwhile, a senior HSE official has warned that the coronavirus situation in Ireland is deteriorating at a faster pace than anywhere in Europe.
Chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said the infection rate is “frightening” and the curve is moving in an almost “vertical direction”.
His analysis came as HSE chief executive Paul Reid warned of “serious and dangerous” levels of transmission that could lead to a “massive surge” in hospital admissions after Christmas.
Dr Henry told the weekly HSE media briefing there could be 1,500 new confirmed cases of the virus a day by the first week in January.
He said: “We received this best or second best in Europe in terms of a 14-day incidence (rate of the virus), but in terms of our deterioration over the past week, we’re deteriorating at more rapid pace in seven days than any other country in Europe and so we won’t hold this position for long.”