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Christmas concern Coronavirus Ireland: Six deaths and 582 new cases confirmed as January restrictions loom

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Dr Tony Holohan

Dr Tony Holohan

Dr Tony Holohan

A further six people who contracted Covid-19 have died while 582 new cases of the virus were confirmed today by the Department of Health.

This brings the death toll to 2,149 while the total number of confirmed cases in Ireland now stands at 78,254.

Validation of data at the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has resulted in the denotification of six cases. The figure of 78,254 cases reflects this.

As of 2pm today, a total of 198 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, 34 of whom are in ICU. There were 13 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Of the cases notified today;

  • 310 are men / 265 are women
  • 60% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 38 years old
  • 193 are in Dublin, 59 in Wexford, 47 in Louth, 42 in Meath, 34 in Cork and the remaining 207 cases are spread all other remaining counties.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “Over the past week, we have expressed significant concern that the level of infection was deteriorating day on day. The data today adds further evidence that the situation is getting worse more rapidly than we expected.

“The country simply cannot cope with this level of infection as we head into Christmas week. With vaccines offering hope in the coming months for our most vulnerable groups, we want to keep them alive and well so that they can receive it.

“Each one of us must do all we can to protect public health - cut your contacts, see only those you need to see. Choose to socialise safely, outdoors if possible. If you see a crowd, avoid it."

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin (PA)

Taoiseach Micheál Martin (PA)

Taoiseach Micheál Martin (PA)

Earlier today, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said government were “minded” to implement proposed restrictions from Nphet before New Year’s Eve in an effort to stem rising case numbers.

These proposed restrictions will result in the closure of pubs and restaurants for indoor dining as well as a likely ban on inter-county travel.

Household visits will not be banned entirely but likely be reduced to people from one household visiting another in a social bubble.

Nphet’s recommendation of new restrictions stems from “severe” worry at the rising case numbers across all age groups and the possible rise effect this may have on hospitalisations, ICUs and mortality.

Elsewhere, there have been 12 further deaths and 510 new cases confirmed in Northern Ireland as it was announced the country will enter a six week lockdown from December 26.

Northern Ireland’s health service has been put under pressure in recent days with hospital occupancy at 102pc.

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