Covid-19: Another 8,248 new cases with Laois among the numbers as South African variant confirmed

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Coronavirus cases in Laois

Ireland has another 8,248 confirmed cases of Covid-19 this Friday evening January 8, as figures reach highest yet.

Laois has been hit with another 55 cases as the third wave of the virus continues to rise since the Christmas break.

The latest figures from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) show that 55 new cases were confirmed in Laois on January 8 bringing to 1,831 the total number of cases since last February.

In its daily statement issued today NPHET reported that incidence rose again in Laois to 742.6 per 100,000 population due to 629 cases in the past 14 days.

In some small consolation, Laois still has the seventh-best incidence of the disease despite the continued surge in cases in the county, with no county escaping the surge. The worst hit neighbouring county is Kildare with 314 new cases, while Carlow and Kilkenny have the joint lowest number of new cases in Ireland, at 41 each. FULL TABLE AT END OF STORY.

Nationally, NPHET also confirmed that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) was notified of 20 additional deaths related to COVID-19. 

There has been a total of 2,327 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight, Thursday 7th January, the HPSC has been notified of 8,248 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 135,884* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. 

The daily figures for Ireland mean the incidence is now a record 1087.7 cases per 100 k population with 51.795 reported over the past two weeks. Monaghan has the highest incidence at 2119.4 per 100 k on the back of 1,301 new cases in last 14 days. Dublin has the fifth worst record. COUNTY TABLE AT END OF STORY.

NPHET said that as of 2pm today, 1,180 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 109 are in ICU. 116 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

New South African variant of the disease reaches Ireland:

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Three cases of a new variant of COVID-19 recently identified in South Africa have been confirmed in Ireland today by whole genome sequencing. All of the cases identified are directly associated with recent travel from South Africa.

“Anyone who has travelled from South Africa recently is advised to self-isolate for 14 days and identify themselves through a GP for testing as soon as possible. We are particularly advising healthcare workers travelling from South Africa, that it is essential that they self-isolate for 14 days before entering/re-entering the workplace.

“While this variant has not yet been identified in many European countries we believe the identification here reflects the extent of genome sequencing surveillance in Ireland," Dr Holohan said.

Dr Cillian De Gascun is Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory.

“The ECDC Assessment states that preliminary analyses indicate that the South African variant is associated with a heightened viral load and may have increased transmissibility. It also states that there is no evidence to date that this variant is associated with higher severity of infection.

“There is currently not enough information available to determine whether this variant poses a possible risk related to vaccine match and effectiveness. The antigenic characterisation of this new variant is ongoing, and results are expected in the coming weeks," Dr De Gascun said.

Of the cases notified today: 3,834 are men / 4,375 are women. 61% are under 45 years of age. The median age is 38 years old.

NPHET highlighted the following counties: 3,013 in Dublin, 1,374 in Cork, 538 in Limerick, 314 in Kildare, 310 in Donegal. It said the remaining 2,699 cases are spread across all other counties.

The 7-day incidence 889.4 per 100,000 while the 5-day moving average is 6,800.

 

*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 21 confirmed cases. The figure of 135,884 confirmed cases reflects this.