Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health in Ireland
The doctor who has led the fight to prevent Ireland from being overwhelmed by Covid-19 deaths and infections has pleaded with the people of Ireland to make their Christmas as safe as possible in the wake of the latest data which shows the virus rising faster in the Republic than in any of the 27 European Union countries.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health issued his plea after the predicted nearly 1,000 new cases were reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team in its Christmas Eve statement.
“Unfortunately, none of the indicators of this disease are showing encouraging signs. Ireland now has the fastest growing incidence rate in the European Union.
“This Christmas, the best present you can give your loved ones is to strictly adhere to the public health advice.
“Make your Christmas safe, meaningful and memorable for the right reasons. Stay home, stay safe and stay well. Limit contact as much as you can and ensure you and your loved ones have a happy and safe Christmas,” concluded his appeal.
NPHET reported eight new deaths and 922 cases on Christmas Eve, the day Level 5 lockdown measures will begin to be reintroduced.
Figures on the Covid-19 Data hub up to Christmas show that 110,765 tests have been completed in the past seven days. The hub says the positivity rate for the week was 5.3% which would mean nearly 6,100 people tested positive in just seven days. The positivity rate for Ireland since the start of the pandemic is 3.9%
Nearly 2.3 million tests have been carried out since February with 88,104 positive tests returned.
The Government has decided that most Level 5 measures will be introduced by January except for allowing non-essential retail to open. Level 5 is due to be reviewed on January 12.