3 more deaths from COVID, 606 new cases

People urged not to socialise
  • Deborah Condon

Three more deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported, along with 606 new cases of the virus.

This brings the total number of deaths in the Republic to 4,631, while the total number of cases now stands at 232,758.

Of the 606 new cases, 249 occurred in Dublin, 57 in Donegal, 39 in Kildare, 32 in Meath and 31 in Louth.

As of 8am on Wednesday, there were 312 patients with confirmed COVID-19 in hospital, 75 of whom were in ICU. There had been an additional 24 hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

As of March 22, 690,449 doses of the COVID vaccine had been administered. Over 186,000 people have received both of their two doses.

The Department of Health's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, appealed to people to keep their contacts to a minimum.

"The vast majority of people are making a huge sacrifice and missing time with loved ones in order for us to stay on course with the public health guidance.

"However, we know that in the week ending March 14, approximately one in 10 people visited another household for social reasons, with most of these visits involving time spent indoors," he commented.

He said that this represents a "significant change" from January, when one in 20 people were visiting other homes for social reasons.

"Please continue to stick with the public heath advice and avoid visiting other homes at this time. Do not give this virus the opportunities it is seeking to spread," Dr Glynn said.

Meanwhile, according to Prof Philip Nolan, chair of NPHET's Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, there has been a levelling off in the daily incidence rate of COVID-19 "and the concern is that we could so easily move backwards and undo the progress that has been hard earned since the beginning of the year".

"The pattern isn't entirely clear and continues to be volatile, so we'll be monitoring this quite carefully over the coming weeks," he said.

He reminded people that when the infection gets into a household, the transmission rates are "very high".

"Up to one-third of contacts within a household will subsequently become infected. It is critically important during this very volatile stage that we minimise our contacts where possible and follow public health advice," he added.

 


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