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latest figures Coronavirus Ireland: 2,371 new cases, 52 further deaths

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Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

A futher 52 deaths linked to Covid-19 and 2,371 new cases have been confirmed by the Department of Health this evening.

According to the Department, 50 of these deaths occurred in January and the median age of those who died is 82 years and the age range is 39-99 years.

There has been a total of 2,870 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland with 184,279 confirmed cases.

Of the cases notified today, 1,129 are men and 1,194 are women.

A total of 757 are in Dublin, 237 in Cork, 154 in Waterford, 123 in Wexford, 114 in Louth, and the remaining 986 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 2pm today, 1,931 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 219 are in ICU. 78 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer said: “We know that the ongoing restrictions are very challenging for people but, through the hard work and sacrifice of the vast majority of people, we are starting to see the first signs of a lower prevalence of the disease in the population.

"Strictly adhering to the public health measures is the key to making real progress in terms of flattening the curve and lowering the current trends in our hospitals and ICUs.

“The ‘COVID-19 find-test-trace-isolate’ process is vital to our efforts.

"Our data is telling us that for a third of people, it’s 4 days or more from the time they first experience symptoms of COVID-19 to the time they get tested. We all need to contact our GP as soon as symptoms occur, so we can trace our contacts and prevent further infections.

“This weekend, we need everyone to stay the course with hand washing, covering coughs, wearing face coverings and keeping a 2m distance. In order to take care of each other, we need all to stay at home, except for essential reasons, to minimise the spread of COVID-19 to ourselves and our loved ones.”

Meanwhile, the Government is considering plans to lockdown the country for another six weeks as as the more infectious UK strain of Covid-19 takes a stronger grip.

Ahead of a Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 next week it has emerged ministers are considering an extension of the highest level of coronavirus regulations until just before St Patrick’s Day.

It comes as chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan warned last night the UK strain, which is easier to catch, is now at 60pc of cases and growing.

Worryingly, the spread of Covid-19 has also surged in nursing homes and other long-term care centres in the last three weeks to levels not seen since the first wave last March and April.

Up to January 19 there were 483 deaths and of those 55 were linked to outbreaks in hospital settings and another 155 to outbreaks in residential facilities, of whom 139 were residents of nursing homes.

Such a move by Government would mean non-essential retail will remain closed and household visits will continue to be banned until into the second week of March.

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