Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team – 22nd December

December 22, 2020 0

There have been 13 deaths reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre today. There have been a total of 2,171 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of midnight Monday 21 December, the HPSC has been notified of 970 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

There has now been a total of 81,228* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

(*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 9 confirmed cases. The figure of 81,228 confirmed cases reflects this.)

Of the cases notified today:

  • 470 are men and 494 are women
  • 64% are under 45 years of age
  • the median age is 37 years old
  • 348 in Dublin, 60 in Limerick, 59 in Cork, 59 in Wexford, 55 in Louth and the remaining 389 cases are spread across 20 other counties

As of 2 pm today, 238 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 28 are in ICU. There have been 23 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said:

The current trajectory of the disease in the community is of grave concern. In the last seven days to midnight Monday, we have reported 4,478 cases, an increase of more than 110% over the preceding week. In the last 5 days, we have seen extraordinary growth in the incidence of the virus across the country, significantly increasing the level of risk associated with the kind of inter-generational mixing that is normally experienced over the Christmas holidays. To protect ourselves, our families and our vulnerable loved ones in particular, further economic and social restrictions will begin to be introduced from Christmas Eve. It is up to each one of us to rethink our plans for this Christmas period, especially when it comes to visiting older or more medically vulnerable family members and friends.

With the authorisation of the first COVID-19 vaccine by the European Commission yesterday, our national vaccine programme can begin in the very near future and this gives us cause for hope. However, widespread vaccination of the population will take time, so we need to continue to adhere to the public health advice on hand washing, keeping 2m distance, wearing face coverings where appropriate, covering our coughs and reducing our social contacts for the duration of the Level 5 restrictions. By working together we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard our schools and our hospitals.

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.