Case numbers spike again in Laois as Covid-19 third wave sweeps Ireland claiming several more deaths

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Coronavirus cases in Laois

It is another dark day for Covid-19 in Ireland, with another 60 cases confirmed in Laois alone driving the county down the incidence table nationally.

The latest figures from the National Public Health Emergency Team confirm 3,955 more confirmed cases of COVID-19, as of midnight, Wednesday 13th January, notified to the HPSC. There is now a total of 163,057* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. 

Another 28 people have died with the virus in Ireland. 26 of these deaths occurred in January 2021. The date of death for two of these reported deaths remains under investigation. There has been a total of 2,488 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

The extra 60 new cases in Laois confirmed on January 13, brings to 807 the total number of cases here the past two weeks, giving an incidence of 952.8 per 100,000 population. 

Nevertheless, Laois has one of the lowest number of cases since Christmas though the latest figures have driven down one place in the county table.  The county has the sixth-lowest incidence of the virus in Ireland as the third wave shows signs of slowing, while hospital admittances however climb.

Laois had an incidence of just 55 per 100 k back on December 1. Laois now has had 2,146 confirmed cases since last March. The 2,000 threshold was passed on Monday.

The national incidence in Ireland is now 1497 per 100k people, on the back of 71,286 cases in the past two weeks.  The 7 day incidence is 744.5 per 100 k while the five day average for new cases has fallen again today to 4,473.

Of the cases notified today 1,210 are in Dublin, 456 in Cork, 235 in Louth, 221 in Meath and 218 in Limerick. The remaining 1,615 cases are spread across all other counties. SEE COUNTY BREAKDOWN AT END OF STORY.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health gave details on the deaths from Covid this January.

“Today we are giving some more information on the 208 people who have been reported to have sadly died from COVID-19 so far this month. Of these, 23 cases have been linked to outbreaks in hospitals and 38 with outbreaks in Nursing Homes. The ages of those who have died range from 25 to 98 years. Every death associated with COVID-19 is a tragedy. We must cut our social contacts in order to break the chains of transmission and protect those who are most vulnerable to this disease. Stay at home and save lives,” he said.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health again urged the "hold firm" message.

“COVID-19 is having a very significant impact on our health system. The best way we can protect ourselves and each other is by staying home and only leaving home for essential journeys. We have the power to change the trajectory of the disease in our communities. We must hold firm and continue to stay home.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said this wave is "perhaps worse" than the first wave a year ago.

“From an epidemiological perspective, what we are seeing in this wave is different to what we have seen since springtime, and perhaps worse. The penetration of the virus throughout all ages of the population is a particular cause for serious concern, as is risk of severe disease that all of these people face. Poor health outcomes, risk of serious or long-term illness and hospitalisation remain a risk for us all when it comes to COVID-19. That is why we must follow public health advice and protect not only ourselves but our hospital system and healthcare workers by staying at home.”

The viruses are mutatin, said Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory.

“It is not unusual for viruses to mutate over time. We have identified multiple different SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Ireland since the start of the pandemic, and 2 of the 3 recently emerged variants of concern from the UK and South Africa. We also expect that more variants will emerge across the world in the coming months.  While some of the new variants will increase the risk of becoming infected because they have increased transmissibility – they can stick longer and better to surfaces – this does not mean that our continued adherence to the public health advice is in anyway less effective. We must continue to wash our hands, wear a face covering where appropriate, maintain our social distance and continue to adhere to the public health advice.”

Mr Liam Woods, Director of Acute Hospitals, HSE said: “Our hospitals and our frontline healthcare workers are working under the enormous strain COVID-19 is exerting on our health service. 1,789 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, 169 of those in intensive care. The best way we can protect our health service and support our frontline workers is to stay home and continue to adhere to the public health advice.”

NPHET also said 1,826 are men / 2,115 are women, 54% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 42 years old.

As of 2pm today, 1,789 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 169 are in ICU. 154 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.