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Latest figures Coronavirus Ireland: 1,318 new cases, 75 further deaths

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Dr Tony Holohan at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos Dublin

Dr Tony Holohan at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos Dublin

Dr Tony Holohan at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos Dublin

A further 75 deaths linked to Covid-19 and 1,318 new cases has been confirmed by the Department of Health this evening.

Forty-six of these deaths occurred in February, 27 occurred in January, and two were earlier, bringing the death toll to 3,586.

The median age of those who died is 84 years and the age range is 34-100 years.

There is now a total of 200,744 cases of the virus in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today, 428 are in Dublin, 122 in Cork, 93 in Galway, 78 in Kildare, 77 in Limerick and the remaining 520 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 2pm today, 1,284 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, 188 of which are in ICU.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer said: “We know that the over 70s have suffered the greatest burden of mortality and serious illness from Covid-19. Ireland is now in a good position; we can now offer highly effective and safe vaccines to this cohort.”

“The superior efficacy demonstrated by the mRNA vaccines authorised for use in Ireland, Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna mean that the mRNA vaccines are the right vaccine to provide the highest level of protection available to those over 70.”

“Over the coming weeks, we will see many more of our vulnerable loved ones receive their Covid-19 vaccinations. This is good news and gives all of us great hope. However, even if you have received your Covid-19 vaccine, you must continue to wash your hands, wear a face covering, maintain a social distance and keep your close contacts to a minimum. Until we have all been vaccinated, we must act as though none of us have been vaccinated.”

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Medical Officer, added: “Today we have reached another significant and unwelcome milestone as we report more than 200,000 confirmed cases. We must all redouble our efforts and drive down the incidence of disease in our community.”

“We are noticing a clear pattern in people with symptoms delaying contacting their GP to arrange a test. It is vital that as soon as you notice that you have symptoms of Covid-19 that you isolate and contact your GP immediately. By acting quickly, we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our vulnerable loved ones.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the National public health and Emergency Team Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “The next few weeks will be difficult for all of us, as we bring the daily case levels below 1,000 per day, our progress will seem to slow down.

"It is now more important than ever that we continue our efforts to bring case numbers down towards the very low levels we achieved in June and July. In that regard, it is very good news that our estimates of the R number are well below one – in the region of 0.5 – 0.8.”

“I noted last week that the testing of close contacts will impact on case numbers in the coming days. We shouldn’t be disappointed by this, it shows that we have moved from the mitigation phase of the last few weeks, back to the containment phase where we are tracking down every possible chain of transmission.”

Dr Lucy Jessop, Director, National Immunisation Office: “The NIO works with colleagues across the HSE and in primary care to administer millions of vaccines every year. We are using our vast expertise and experience to deliver the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme safely and securely.”

“My colleagues and I in the National Immunisation Office are continuing to work hard to finalise our preparations, ensuring we are ready to administer safe and effective vaccines to the most vulnerable in our society as they are called for vaccination”.

It comes as mandatory home quarantine regulations were signed into law last night and came into effect as of midnight.

The new regulations mean anyone arriving into Ireland from today is now legally required to quarantine in their home.

Failure to do so can be penalised by fines of up to €2,500 and/or six months in prison.

There will be no exemptions from the quarantine laws for people arriving from high risk countries such as South Africa and Brazil.

And Health Minister Stephen Donnelly will also be able to designate countries as high risk if there are concerns about the spread of Covid-19 in certain states.

People with negative Covid-19 tests arriving from countries deemed low risk will be able to leave quarantine if they get negative test five days after arrival.

Minister Donnelly also extended regulations which require all passengers arriving in Ireland to produce a negative Covid-19 test on arrival. Again, failure to produce a test can result in a €2,500 fine and/or six months in prison.

Anyone arriving without a negative test will be legally obliged to take a test within 36 hours of their arrival in the country. It will also be offence to refuse to get a Covid-19 test.

Passengers arriving in Ireland via Northern Ireland will also be required to produce a negative Covid-19 test and adhere to the new mandatory quarantine rules.

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