Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team – 23rd December

December 23, 2020 0

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 13 additional deaths related to COVID-19.  There has been a total of 2,184 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of midnight Tuesday 22 December, the HPSC has been notified of 938 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of the 13 deaths, 10 occurred in December.

There has now been a total of 82,155* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

(*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 11 confirmed cases. The figure of 82,155 confirmed cases reflects this.)

Of the cases notified today:

  • 416 are men and 517 are women
  • 65% are under 45 years of age
  • the median age is 36 years old
  • 300 in Dublin, 110 in Cork, 72 in Limerick, 68 in Donegal, 41 in Kildare and the remaining 347 cases are spread across 21 other counties

As of 2pm today, 251 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 25 are in ICU. There have been 24 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

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

The NPHET met today and reviewed the current epidemiological situation and has made recommendations to Government. Every indicator of the disease is rising and rising rapidly. Our level of concern continues to escalate. We must do all we can individually and collectively to change the course of this disease.

Revise your Christmas plans to ensure social contacts are limited and that hand hygiene, physical distance, ventilation and face covering measures are in place if you must have visitors to your home.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said:

The epidemiological situation reviewed today is the most serious it has been since last March. People should act at all times as if they or those they come into contact with are infectious. The disease has spread across all parts of the country and all age groups. We must act now to protect each other.

It is inevitable that people will get sick and die as a result of this escalation, but it is not too late for all of us to do all we can to minimise that impact and to protect as many people as possible.

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

The situation has deteriorated further, even in the last two days. The reproduction number is higher than we have reported since March at 1.5 – 1.8. The day on day growth rate is estimated at 7 – 9%. These data emphasise the need for us to be exceptionally careful over Christmas and to adhere strictly to public health guidance.

Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory said:

Preliminary data would suggest, based on a selection of samples analysed from the weekend, that the novel variant from the UK is present in Ireland. However, given the timeline of the samples analysed, it would seem that the novel variant is not solely responsible for the recent increase in case numbers seen in Ireland.

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