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Faint hope Coronavirus Ireland: 79 deaths and 1,414 new Covid-19 cases as hospitalisations fall slightly

"Our ICUs will remain close to their limits for some time yet"

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Health Service Executive (HSE) chief executive Paul Reid (Photocall Ireland/PA Wire)

Health Service Executive (HSE) chief executive Paul Reid (Photocall Ireland/PA Wire)

Health Service Executive (HSE) chief executive Paul Reid (Photocall Ireland/PA Wire)

A further 79 people who contracted Covid-19 have died while 1,414 new cases of the virus were announced this evening.

78 of those who died passed away in January 2021.

The latest figures bring the death toll from the virus to 3,292* while there have now been a total of 195,303** confirmed cases.

Validation of data at the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has resulted in the denotification of one death and three confirmed cases. These are reflected in the total figures.

A total of 55 people were hospitalised with the illness in the last 24 hours.

The numbers of people in hospital have fallen slightly to 1,492 with 211 of these patients in ICU and 310 receiving high acute care, according to HSE CEO Paul Reid.

However, he stressed that ICUs remain under pressure and urged people not to drop their guard.

Mr Reid tweeted earlier today: "The numbers of #COVID19 patients in hospital are reducing, now 1488. Our ICUs will remain close to their limits for some time yet. Please continue to protect yourself and help our hospital teams make further progress."

Testing of all close contacts of confirmed cases has resumed as of yesterday, the HSE confirmed, as the pressure on the contract tracing system began to subside as case numbers fell.

Elsewhere, there were 17 further deaths and 455 new cases confirmed in Northen Ireland.

There was outrage last night when the EU briefly triggered Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol within the Brexit agreement, allowing them to block vaccines produced in Europe making their way into Northern Ireland.

The EU quickly made a U-turn on this while the Commission released a statement saying it will “ensure the Northern Ireland Protocol is unaffected”.

More to follow

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