Covid-19: 'Country simply cannot cope' with infection as 582 new cases confirmed

ireland
Covid-19: 'Country Simply Cannot Cope' With Infection As 582 New Cases Confirmed Covid-19: 'Country Simply Cannot Cope' With Infection As 582 New Cases Confirmed
Six further Covid-19 related deaths have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland.
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James Cox

Six further Covid-19 related deaths and 582 additional cases have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland today.

There has now been a total of 2,149 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight Thursday, December 17th the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has been notified of 582 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 78,254 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 310 are men/265 are women.
  • 60 per cent are under 45 years of age.
  • The median age is 38 years old.
  • 193 in Dublin, 59 in Wexford, 47 in Louth, 42 in Meath, 34 in Cork and the remaining 207 cases are spread all other remaining counties.

As of 2pm today 198 Covid-19 patients are being trated in hospital, of which 34 are in ICU. 13 additional Covid-19 cases have been reported in Irish hospitals in the last 24 hours.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “Over the past week, we have expressed significant concern that the level of infection was deteriorating day on day. The data today adds further evidence that the situation is getting worse more rapidly than we expected.

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“The country simply cannot cope with this level of infection as we head into Christmas week. With vaccines offering hope in the coming months for our most vulnerable groups, we want to keep them alive and well so that they can receive it.

“Each one of us must do all we can to protect public health - cut your contacts, see only those you need to see. Choose to socialise safely, outdoors if possible. If you see a crowd, avoid it.

"By choosing to act safely right now, together we can limit the impact this disease will have in the weeks and months to come - and in doing so, we can protect the vulnerable and prevent unnecessary deaths.”

Meanwhile, there is a very strong likelihood that pubs and restaurants in Ireland will not be open for New Year celebrations, the Taoiseach has said.

Micheál Martin said the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) recommended that stricter restrictions be introduced before the end of the year as case numbers continue to rise.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast on Friday, Mr Martin said under the proposed “Level 3+” restrictions to be introduced after Christmas, construction and non-essential retail would remain open but services such as hairdressers would have to be monitored.

He denied that the Government and Nphet are “scaremongering” with their warnings about transmission rates.

Mr Martin said he was “worried” by the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent days and the Government would take Nphet’s recommendation “very seriously”.

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