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Latest figures Coronavirus Ireland: Four further deaths and 744 new cases confirmed

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There has been a further four Covid-19 related deaths while 744 new cases of the virus confirmed by the Department of Health this evening.

This brings the Covid-19 death toll to 2,204 while the total number of confirmed cases in Ireland now stands at 86,129.

A total of 388 of the new cases are men while 354 are women

Of the cases notified today, 246 in Dublin, 131 in Cork, 51 in Limerick, 40 in Wexford, 33 in Donegal and the remaining 243 cases are spread across 19 other counties.

The median age is 34 years old and 64 pc are under 45 years of age.

As of 8am today 324 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 26 are in ICU. 50 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “We have seen a significant increase in the number of hospitalisations in the last two weeks from less than 190 to 324 today.

"This indicates a deteriorating disease trajectory nationally and is a significant reminder of the severity of this disease.”

“There have been further increases across key indicators of COVID-19 right across the country and the growth rate of the epidemic has accelerated in recent days.”

“Due to the lower volume of tests being carried out over Christmas Day and yesterday, we believe there are higher levels of disease circulating in the community than today’s reported case numbers reflect. We expect, therefore, to see a large increase in cases reported over the coming days.”

“If we do not act now to stop the spread of COVID-19, we will not be able to protect those in our society that are most at risk of serious illness or death.”

“Stay home, do not visit friends or family unless you are providing essential care and do not have visitors to your home. Follow the public health advice.”

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