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Latest figures Covid-19: 12,138 new cases and 52 deaths from virus in the past week confirmed

There were 6,843 new cases confirmed by PCR and a further 5,295 positive antigens reported on the HSE portal online on Monday, January 17.

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Dripping testing solution into a Covid 19 lateral flow testing strip (PA)

Dripping testing solution into a Covid 19 lateral flow testing strip (PA)

Dripping testing solution into a Covid 19 lateral flow testing strip (PA)

There have been 12,138 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) this evening.

There were 6,843 new cases confirmed by PCR and a further 5,295 positive antigens reported on the HSE portal online on Monday, January 17. This is up on a total 11,683 cases reported on Tuesday.

There have been a further 52 deaths of people with Covid-19 newly notified in the past week, bringing the total number of people who died with the virus in the Republic to 6,087.

As of 8am today, 910 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, down from 979 on Tuesday, while there were 90 in ICU, down three on Tuesday.

It was confirmed today that Ireland will have an additional bank holiday on Friday, March 18, in recognition of the efforts of frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic and frontline health workers will also receive a €1,000 tax-free bonus for their efforts.

It is understood that public healthcare workers who worked in a Covid-exposed environment including nurses, doctors and paramedics will be eligible for the tax-free payment.

Sources told Independent.ie those working in private nursing homes and hospices will be included.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly later added that the payment is aimed at “public sector workers” who were “on site treating or supporting patients with Covid” in clinical settings and directly employed by the HSE.

This will include hospital cleaners, porters as well as ambulance workers and it will also apply to nursing home staff. More than 100,000 HSE-employed healthcare workers will directly benefit, while members of the Defence Forces who were on-site on vaccination centres and in testing centres will also be eligible.

Student nurses and staff that were seconded to the HSE during the pandemic will also eligible to the payment and part-time staff will receive it on a pro-rata basis.

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