LATEST: 314 new cases of Covid-19 in Kildare today; record 8,248 cases nationwide

Friday, January 8, 2021

Leader reporter

Reporter:

Leader reporter

Email:

editor@leinsterleader.ie

LATEST: 314 new cases of Covid-19 in Kildare today; record 8,248 cases nationwide

Three hundred and fourteen additional cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Kildare today, out of a record total of 8,248 nationwide. Twenty additional deaths from the virus have been confirmed. The South African variant of the virus has also now been confirmed in Ireland.

There have been 1,936 cases of coronavirus diagnosed in Kildare in the last fortnight.

Of the cases notified to to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre today, 3,834 are men / 4,375 are women; 61% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 38 years old. Some 3,013 cases are in Dublin, 1,374 in Cork, 538 in Limerick, 314 in Kildare, 310 in Donegal and the remaining 2,699 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 2pm today, 1,180 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 109 are in ICU. 116 additional hospitalisations have occurred in the past 24 hours.

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 Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said; “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.”