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Latest figures Coronavirus Ireland: Three deaths and 484 new cases as vaccine rollout date announced

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Shoppers wear masks on Grafton Street

Shoppers wear masks on Grafton Street

Shoppers wear masks on Grafton Street

A further three people have died and 484 new cases of Covid-19 were announced today.

Of the cases notified today, 246 are men and 238 are women.

A total of 59 per cent of the new cases are under 45 years of age - with a median age of 37 years old.

The cases include 150 in Dublin, 45 in Wexford, 40 in Cork, 32 in Donegal, 29 in Limerick and the remaining 188 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

As of 2pm today 200 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 31 are in ICU. 30 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “The 5-day moving average is 387 per day– this is an indicator that the disease is moving quickly when compared to the previous 5-day average.

"The virus is spreading throughout the country, in all age groups.

“We are now getting reports of outbreaks in social settings including workplace settings, Christmas parties and funerals. I cannot stress enough how important it is to limit your interactions now.

"The consequences of not doing so will be exponential growth in January, a substantial increase in hospitalisations and risk to life.”

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “COVID-19 represents a significant threat to people’s ability to enjoy the Christmas and New Year period. Please think about each of your social contacts and consider whether now is the time to be meeting with them. Meet up outside where possible and avoid all crowded settings. If you have symptoms please isolate immediately and contact your GP without delay – do not go to work and do not meet up with other people. If you are identified as a close contact it is vital that you restrict your movements.

The latest figures come as Taoiseach Micheal Martin tested negative for coronavirus today following the announcement French President Emmanuel Macron has contracted the disease.

The Taoiseach was a close contact of Mr Macron at the European Council Summit in Brussels last Friday.

Meanwhile, the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in Europe will begin on December 27, it was revealed today.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen shared a statement on Twitter saying:"It's Europe's moment.

"On 27, 28 and 29 December vaccination will start across the EU.

"We protect our citizens together."

The European Medicines Agency is due to meet on Monday and is expected to recommend the approval of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Ireland is among the countries which is due shipments of the vaccine in the following days.

More to follow.

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