Sixty more deaths from COVID reported

Virus "has taken root in every part of country"
  • Deborah Condon

A further 60 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported, along with 3,231 more cases of the virus.

This brings the total number of deaths in the Republic to 2,595 and the total number of cases to 169,780.

Of the 60 reported deaths, one occurred in December, while the rest occurred this month. The median age of those who died was 85 years, while the age range was 65 to 100 years.

No new deaths among people under the age of 30, or among healthcare workers, were reported.

Of the 3,231 new cases, 931 occurred in Dublin, 388 in Cork, 238 in Louth, 155 in Waterford and 151 in Limerick.

According to the Department of Health's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, COVID-19 has now "taken root in every single part of the country" He pointed out that a significant percentage of the population - in excess of 10% in some counties - is currently either a COVID case or a close contact.

"This is a huge burden of infection. When you consider that a significant percentage of our daily cases will directly lead to hospitalisation and mortality, the urgency with which we need to act becomes clear.

"By staying at home, you are protecting our health and social care services as they struggle against the enormous burden of infection that many weeks with thousands of daily cases of COVID-19 represents," Dr Holohan commented.

He said that improvements in cases are "not happening fast enough".

"Too many people are still not complying as fully as we need with the advice. There are early indications that we may be levelling off in terms of improvement, but at far, far too high a level of infection. The UK variant is very likely making our challenge more difficult," he noted.

According to the director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, Dr Cillian De Gascun, due to the nature of the mutation found in the UK variant of the virus, "it is inevitable that it will become the dominant variant here in Ireland over time".

"The UK variant has adapted to us - simply put, it is better at moving from person to person when we come into contact. So what we must do is reduce its opportunities to spread by cutting out socialising.

"Stay home. Do not visit anyone else's home. Do not attend illegal gatherings. Remember the simple and effective measures from springtime - wash your hands well and often, wear a mask, cough and sneeze into your elbow, keep two metres of space from others, and phone your GP at the very first sign of COVID-19 symptoms," Dr De Gascun said.

More information on the latest figures in relation to COVID-19, including the number of people vaccinated so far, is available here.


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