Covid-19: 727 new cases in Ireland but Laois figure has dropped

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Coronavirus cases in Laois

The daily number of new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland is counted at 727 this Monday evening December 21, with the rise in cases "gravely concerning" and as bad as last March.

However the number for Laois today shows a huge drop from recent days, with 'less than five cases'. This compares to 19 yesterday and 11 on Saturday.  See county by county table below. 

The incidence rate for Laois of case numbers over the past 14 days is the seventh highest in the republic, at 173.6, well above the national average which has however climbed to 122.4 cases per 100,000 people.

There have been no new deaths reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre today, with the total remaining at 2,158 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland since the virus hit last February.

As of midnight Sunday 20th December, the HPSC has been notified of 727 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 80,267* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. 

Dr. Tony Holohan Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health today said the current trends are "gravely concerning".

“The situation has deteriorated rapidly in recent days. A total of 3,837 cases have been notified in the past 7 days. The five day rolling average has increased from 339 on 17th December to 616 on 21st December, an 82% increase. It is now as important as it was back in March to limit your contacts and protect your loved ones.”

Dr Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive, Health Products Regulatory Authority announced an advance in a vaccine.

“Today we welcome a highly significant announcement from the European Medicines Agency in their recommendation to approve a first vaccine for COVID-19 in Europe. It is a key development in our continued efforts to tackling this pandemic. This will become one additional defence in our suite of public health actions to protect us from COVID-19.”

However the virus is travelling "very rapidly" says Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group.

“The virus is transmitting very rapidly, faster than we have seen at any point since March. The case numbers are growing at least 5-7% per day and, of particular concern, across all age groups.”

The new variant of Covid-19 spreading in the UK may already be in Ireland says Dr. Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory.

“To date, the novel SARS-CoV-2 UK variant has not been detected in Ireland. However, as we know the variant has been circulating in the UK since September, therefore we cannot exclude the possibility that the variant is already in Ireland. We are prioritising the sequencing of cases with confirmed or suspected links to the UK.”

There have been at least 1,156 Covid-19 cases officially confirmed in Laois since February.

Of the cases notified this Monday, NPHET highlighted 311 in Dublin, 51 in Kilkenny, 48 in Wexford, 44 in Donegal, 44 in Cork with the remaining 229 cases spread across 19 other counties.

Other new cases features show that 359 are men / 366 are women, 62% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 36 years old.

As of 2pm today 241 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 29 are in ICU. 18 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

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