Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team – 17th December

December 17, 2020 0

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 3 additional deaths related to COVID-19. There has been a total of 2,143 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of midnight Wednesday 16 December, the HPSC has been notified of 484 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There has now been a total of 77,678* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

(*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 3 confirmed cases. The figure of 77,678 confirmed cases reflects this.)

Of the cases notified today:

  • 246 are men and 238 are women
  • 59% are under 45 years of age
  • the median age is 37 years old
  • 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 2 pm today, 200 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 31 are in ICU. There have been 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.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said:

The reproduction number is now estimated between 1.1 -1.3. We are concerned that Ireland is now in a phase of rapid growth, which if allowed continue, will result in 700 – 1200 cases per day by the second week in January, if not sooner. We are particularly concerned about older people and vulnerable adults, who have protected themselves through the second wave, and are now at risk during the festive season.

Dr. Deirdre Mulholland, Director of Public Health, HSE East, said:

Intergenerational mixing over Christmas, especially in an environment of rapid growth of incidence, poses a significant risk to older and vulnerable people. It is so important to reduce your contacts and follow public health advice now, in order to protect lives.

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.

If YOU or SOMEONE YOU KNOW are struggling and need help check out the local help/support available on our dedicated COVID-19 page.