Seventy-eight new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in county Kildare today, out of a national total of 1,318. A further 75 deaths from the virus were notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Forty-six of those deaths occurred in February, 27 occurred in January and two were earlier.
The median age of those who died is 84 years and the age range is 34-100 years.
Of the cases notified today, 622 are men / 688 are women, 58% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 40 years old. Some 428 cases are in Dublin, 122 in Cork, 93 in Galway, 78 in Kildare, 77 in Limerick and the remaining 520 cases are spread across all other counties.
As of 2pm today, 1,284 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 188 are in ICU. 74 additional hospitalisations have occurred in the past 24 hours.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “We know that the over 70s have suffered the greatest burden of mortality and serious illness from Covid-19. Ireland is now in a good position; we can now offer highly effective and safe vaccines to this cohort.”
“The superior efficacy demonstrated by the mRNA vaccines authorised for use in Ireland, Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna mean that the mRNA vaccines are the right vaccine to provide the highest level of protection available to those over 70.”
“Over the coming weeks, we will see many more of our vulnerable loved ones receive their Covid-19 vaccinations. This is good news and gives all of us great hope. However, even if you have received your Covid-19 vaccine, you must continue to wash your hands, wear a face covering, maintain a social distance and keep your close contacts to a minimum. Until we have all been vaccinated, we must act as though none of us have been vaccinated.”
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “Today we have reached another significant and unwelcome milestone as we report more than 200,000 confirmed cases. We must all redouble our efforts and drive down the incidence of disease in our community.
“We are noticing a clear pattern in people with symptoms delaying contacting their GP to arrange a test. It is vital that as soon as you notice that you have symptoms of Covid-19 that you isolate and contact your GP immediately. By acting quickly, we can prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect our vulnerable loved ones.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “The next few weeks will be difficult for all of us, as we bring the daily case levels below 1,000 per day, our progress will seem to slow down. It is now more important than ever that we continue our efforts to bring case numbers down towards the very low levels we achieved in June and July. In that regard, it is very good news that our estimates of the R number are well below one – in the region of 0.5 – 0.8.”
“I noted last week that the testing of close contacts will impact on case numbers in the coming days. We shouldn’t be disappointed by this, it shows that we have moved from the mitigation phase of the last few weeks, back to the containment phase where we are tracking down every possible chain of transmission.”