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Uneven impact revealed as new figures show counties hardest hit by virus deaths

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Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn said Ireland has made progress in recent weeks

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn said Ireland has made progress in recent weeks

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn said Ireland has made progress in recent weeks

The cruel uneven impact of the pandemic as it swept across the country is revealed in new figures showing Monaghan, Cavan and Kildare have been hardest hit by Covid-19 deaths.

The death rate has been highest in Monaghan at 128.7 per 100,000 followed by Cavan at 118.1 per 100,000.

The figures which cover up to the end of January show the fatality rate per 100,000 in Kildare is 107.4 per 100,000.

The highest number of deaths, reaching 1,337, has been recorded in Dublin,

Sligo and Kerry have the lowest Covid-19 death rate followed by Galway and Leitrim. The national death rate was 69.7 per 100,000 at the end of last month.

It comes as 23 more deaths were reported yesterday with the new victims ranging in age from 57 to 95.

Most of the deaths so far, 1,144, occurred in hospital and another 1,088 people passed away in nursing home facilities. Just 69 people died from Covid-19 in their own home and 1,016 died in other facilities or in an unknown location.

Another 921 people were newly diagnosed with the virus as Prof Philip Nolan of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) said it will be around six weeks before cases drop to around 100 a day.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government would continue to adhere to Nphet advice around the risk posed by the new more infectious Covid-19 variants.

“The variant is a factor in maintaining the level of restrictions – if the variant is now making up about 70pc of all our cases, making for a far quicker spread.”

“Given that we are rolling out the vaccines, it does make sense that we knuckle down – as the vaccines are rolled out mortality will go down, severe illness will go down and as we vaccinate the more vulnerable and the more senior of our citizens, we will be in a good space in a relatively short space of time.”

He said that Ireland’s new Covid-19 plan would be updated by February 20.

“We will be looking at restrictions similar to Level 5 beyond March 5 but at the end of Quarter One [of 2021, by March 31] we should have about 1.1 million vaccines doses administered.”

“Go forward another month, we will have vaccine volumes coming and Quarter Two should be a significant month in terms of vaccinations.”

Figures yesterday showed that 959 patients with Covid-19 were in hospital and 173 in intensive care,

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: “We have made progress in Ireland over recent weeks, but the rate of transmission of the disease is still extremely high and the risks Covid-19 poses to our vulnerable loved ones have not changed.”

However, the hidden toll on non-Covid patients was revealed yesterday in hospital waiting list figures.

There are now 20,813 patients waiting over a year for hospital inpatient or day case care, an increase of 11,103 or 114pc in the past year, according to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA).

There are 862,720 people are now on some form of waiting list, an increase of 86,221 since January last year. The outpatient waiting list is at a record 622,963.

IHCA President Alan Irvine said: “Yet again, these figures drive home the devastating impact not just of Covid-19 on patients, but of the persistent under-investment in hospital infrastructure, bed capacity and other facilities and failure to address the recruitment and retention crisis.”

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