Some 131 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in County Kildare today, out of a national total of 3,498. Fifty further deaths from the virus have been reported today, all of which occurred in January. The median age of those who died was 82 years, and the age range was 45-96 years. None of those reported 50 deaths was of a healthcare worker or under the age of 30.
Of the new cases notified nationally today, 1,576 are men / 1,906 are women; 54% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 42 years old. 1,182 are in Dublin, 421 in Cork, 258 in Limerick, 187 in Galway, 164 in Waterford, and the remaining 1,286 cases are spread across all other counties.
As of 2pm today, 1,850 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which184 are in ICU. 118 additional hospitalisations have occurred in the past 24 hours.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: "New variants of Covid-19 have recently been identified in Brazil, and in travellers to Japan from Brazil. There is no evidence of these variants in Ireland.
"Anyone who has travelled from Brazil in the last 14 days is advised to self-isolate for 14 days, from the date of arrival, and identify themselves, through a GP, for testing as soon as possible.
“It is essential that anyone arriving from Brazil self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival before entering/re-entering the workplace. We are particularly appealing to employers to enable their employees to protect each other by staying at home for the full 14 days.”
"Further risk assessment of the new variants is expected from the ECDC in the coming week. We must all continue to adhere to every element of the public health advice. This remains our best defence against Covid-19.”
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “We have worked exceptionally hard in recent weeks to reduce our close contacts. At the end of December, the number of close contacts per confirmed case peaked at approximately 6. That has now dropped to 2.3 contacts. This enormous effort is the reason we are seeing case numbers beginning to fall.
“We know that it is extremely difficult to keep our close contacts to a minimum, particularly over an extended period of time. But this is the main way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19. Again today, we are reporting the highest number of people with Covid-19 to date in our hospitals. We must stay home to protect ourselves and each other.”