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'Improvements' Five deaths and 322 new cases of Covid-19 announced today

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A woman uses a public hand sanitiser  (Danny Lawson/PA)

A woman uses a public hand sanitiser (Danny Lawson/PA)

A woman uses a public hand sanitiser (Danny Lawson/PA)

A further five people have died and 322 new cases of Covid-19 were announced this evening.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases to 63,048 while the death toll now stands at 1,922.

Validation of data at the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has led to the denotification of 24 cases, resulting in the adjusted figure of 63,048.

As of 2pm today, a total of 296 patients are in hospital, 42 of whom are in ICU. 14 people were hospitalised in the last 24 hours.

The breakdown of cases is as follows:

  • 156 are men / 166 are women
  • 64% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 37 years old
  • 96 cases are in Dublin, 35 in Meath, 23 in Cork, 17 in Louth, 16 in Waterford and the remaining 135 cases are spread across 18 other counties.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “Due to the efforts of people across Ireland, we are seeing improvements with Covid-19.

"However, we must remember that maintaining this downward trend is now the most crucial thing. The value of our progress depends on continuing the safe behaviour that got us to this position. I urge everyone to keep it up, to ensure these initial trends continue.”

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Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Meanwhile, there are fresh doubts about the prospect of Christmas homecomings at airports as Dr Holohan issued a new warning on international travel.

He bluntly told the Oireachtas Transport Committee: "The situation at the moment is international travel of a non-essential nature is not safe”.

Mr Holohan did express optimism that the current Level 5 rules will see Covid-19 rates go low enough so that the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) can recommend a change to the restrictions by December 1.

But he said it's "simply not possible" to look forward six weeks to say whether non-essential international travel will be allowed at Christmas.

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