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latest figures Coronavirus: Ireland is 'now clearly in a third wave' as 727 new cases and no further deaths confirmed

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Dr Tony Holohan, Dr Ronan Glynn, Professor Philip Nolan, and Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, pictured at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Dr Tony Holohan, Dr Ronan Glynn, Professor Philip Nolan, and Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, pictured at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Dr Tony Holohan, Dr Ronan Glynn, Professor Philip Nolan, and Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, pictured at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

There are 727 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, the Department of Health has confirmed.

No further deaths have been reported.

The total number of confirmed cases is now 80,267, while the death toll stands at 2,158.

Of the cases notified today, 311 are in Dublin, 51 in Kilkenny, 48 in Wexford, 44 are in Donegal, 44 in Cork and the remaining 229 cases are spread across 19 other counties.

As of 2pm today, there were 241 patients with Covid-19 in hospital. Of those, 29 are in ICU.

Over the past 14 days, 5,827 cases have been notified and the national 14-day incidence rate is now at 122 cases per 100,000 population.

The five day moving average has increased to 616 cases per day.

Of the cases notified over the past two weeks, the median age is 36, the mean age is 38. Around two-thirds of cases are in people under the age of 45 and 11pc are in people over the age of 65.

Speaking at the Department of Health this evening, the National Public Health and Emergency Team's (Nphet) Professor Philip Nolan warned Ireland is "now clearly in a third wave" of the pandemic with "very rapidly rising case numbers."

He said the R number could now be "as high as 1.5 to 1.6."

"Numbers are rising all across the country. We routinely watch the Capital and the remaining 25 counties, it's rising equally rapidly in both.

"So in Dublin the five day moving average has gone from 89 cases per day to 227 cases per day since last Monday, 14 December. So more than doubling in the capital in the space of one week, giving us a very rapid growth rate," Professor Nolan added.

"And in the counties other than Dublin, it's gone from 226 cases per day to 388 cases per day across from those 25 countries. Again, a very significant increase close to doubling in the course of one week."

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