There has been a huge spike in new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland today, but the number was expected because of increased testing particularly in the Laois, Kildare, Offaly counties.
There are 174 new cases confirmed by the Department of Health this Saturday, August 8, a day after the three counties were placed on tighter restrictions.
118 of the cases are linked to them, but 110 are in Kildare.
There appears to be only one new case confirmed in Laois.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said the rise was not unexpected.
“While today’s numbers of confirmed cases are high, they are not unexpected. As I said last night, we are expecting significant numbers of cases to be reported over the coming days.
“Throughout this week, we have been testing all workers in facilities where outbreaks of COVID-19 have been identified as well as close contacts of those people who have received COVID positive results. Tonight’s figures are a reflection of these measures with 118 of these cases linked to the counties of Kildare, Laois and Offaly.
“Our priority now and our reason for recommending the proactive measures announced last night, is to avoid these cases and clusters leading to widespread community transmission of the disease.
The extra cases brings to 26,644 the total so far in Ireland.
One more person has died, The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed.
There has now been a total of 1,772 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland*.
Of the cases notified today;
124 are men / 48 are women
69% are under 45 years of age
112 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case
5 cases have been identified as community transmission
110 cases are located in Kildare, 27 in Dublin, 7 in Cork, 7 in Offaly, 6 in Meath and 17 are spread across thirteen other counties (Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Tipperary, Wexford and Wicklow).
Dr Glynn warned the rest of Ireland to take every precaution.
“50 of tonight’s cases are located outside of these three counties and around the rest of the country. I once again ask everyone regardless of where you live in the country to take every precaution possible to help us control the spread of this disease and protect our most vulnerable. This means continuing to wash our hands, keeping 2 metres apart from one another, avoiding crowds, wearing face coverings where appropriate, covering our coughs and sneezes and downloading the COVID Tracker app.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said; “As outlined by the Acting Chief Medical Officer at the press conference last night, the 14-day incidence per 100,000 population in Kildare, Laois and Offaly is worryingly high. While the national incidence stands at 16.3 per 100,000, in Kildare it stands at 130.3, in Laois it is 69.7 and in Offaly it is 89.8.
“Should these cases result in widespread transmission, it could undo a lot of the good work that we have done as a country so far to control the spread of this virus. The measures introduced by NPHET last night represent a proactive and proportionate response to the current situation in these counties”
The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.