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Coronavirus: 35 Deaths; 613 Cases Confirmed Today

National news updates on Friday 25th February.

Latest Figures:

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 35 additional deaths related to COVID-19.

21 of these deaths occurred in February, 12 occurred in January, 1 in November, while one further death is under investigation.

The median age of those who died was 85 years and the age range was 53 - 102 years.

There has been a total of 4,271 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight, Wednesday 24th February, the HPSC has been notified of 613 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 217,478* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today:

308 are men / 304 are women

66% are under 45 years of age

The median age is 34 years old

224 in Dublin, 39 in Limerick, 37 in Meath, 34 in Westmeath, 33 in Offaly and the remaining 246 cases are spread across all other counties. 

There are 9 new cases in Laois and 34 in Westmeath.

As of 8am today, 591 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 138 are in ICU. 20 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

As of February 22, 359,616 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:

226,291 people have received their first dose

133,325 people have received their second dose

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “We are making good progress and can see that many of the key indicators of disease levels in our communities are continuing to fall. This progress is the reason we are able to reopen our schools in a cautious and phased basis.”

“However, we must remember that COVID-19 is still circulating at a high level and, we are still seeing positivity rates of around 15% in the community. As we see more of our children return to school next week, it is important that we continue to follow all of the public health guidance, including on the school run.”

“Maintain a social distance at all times, wear a face covering, do not mix with other households other than for essential reasons, wash our hands, and most importantly, ensure that children do not attend school if they display symptoms of COVID-19, as per the HSE website, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell. If you display any of these symptoms, you should self-isolate and phone your GP or GP out-of-hours service to arrange for a test.”

Dr Lucy Jessop, Director, National Immunisation Office, said: “In the last ten days, we have seen Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme move into the community. Many of us know family and friends who are among the almost 360,000 people to have been vaccinated in recent weeks. This is cause for great hope for all of us.”

“The vaccine is already having a significant impact on our healthcare workers. In the last week in January, almost 1,400 healthcare workers contracted COVID-19; that number was less than 300 last week. This is wonderful news and clearly demonstrates the early impact the vaccination programme is having.”

“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."

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “We are making continued and significant progress, albeit more slowly. The reproduction number remains below 1, between 0.6 and 0.9, which is a real achievement given the higher transmissibility of the B.1.1.7 variant, which accounts for 90% of cases. Our collective efforts to suppress transmission of the virus and bring the disease to manageable levels are having a positive impact. If we continue to work together, we can keep each other safe as the vaccination programme offers wider protection.”

Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory said: “New variants of concern will continue to emerge as COVID-19 adapts to us. This highlights the importance of Ireland’s National Surveillance programme. This week, we will be sequencing 15% of cases at the NVRL.”

County

Today's cases**

(to midnight 24Feb2021)

5-Day Moving Average of New Cases

14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population

(to 24Feb2021)

New Cases during last 14 days

(to 24Feb2021)

Ireland

613

625

226.1

10767

Offaly

33

21

402.8

314

Galway

26

34

315.4

814

Dublin

224

225

309.7

4173

Longford

<5

6

288.7

118

Laois

9

13

278.6

236

Limerick

39

41

275

536

Westmeath

34

19

274.9

244

Monaghan

9

9

265.5

163

Louth

29

23

264.6

341

Kildare

28

36

261.6

582

Waterford

10

17

247.9

288

Mayo

8

19

245.2

320

Meath

37

27

235.3

459

Carlow

9

7

210.8

120

Cavan

<5

9

210

160

Tipperary

17

21

194.9

311

Leitrim

8

3

193.5

62

Donegal

23

23

164.6

262

Clare

8

14

160.8

191

Wexford

6

6

133.6

200

Wicklow

5

10

106

151

Roscommon

5

5

105.4

68

Kilkenny

5

7

97.8

97

Sligo

<5

4

97.7

64

Cork

24

20

80.9

439

Kerry

7

6

36.6

54

~The 5-day moving average of the number of new cases provides an appropriate indicator of current daily case numbers within a county. It takes account of any validation of cases for previous days and smooths out daily/weekend fluctuations in case numbers.

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community including daily data on Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 5 confirmed cases. The figure of 217,478 cases reflects this.

**County data should be considered provisional as the national Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting System (CIDR) is a dynamic system and case details are continually being validated and updated.

Poor ratings for government:

51 per cent of people believe the government is not managing the pandemic well.

It's 15 per cent worse than last autumn, according to an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

Over half of voters believe the Taoiseach and Health Minister are doing a bad job, while 80 percent believe Dr.Tony Holohan is doing a good job as Chief Medical Officer. 

Political analyst Johnny Fallon says there's an obvious reason why Micheál Martin, Stephen Donnelly and Leo Varadkar fared badly. 

Mandatory quarantine debate:

Further exchanges are expected in the Dáil later on the government's bill to introduce mandatory quarantine in hotels.

The legislation was heavily criticised by opposition parties yesterday, who argued it doesn't go far enough.

If introduced, it'll see arrivals from 20 'high risk' countries made to quarantine in a hotel for 2 weeks at their own expense.

It comes as the Health Minister confirmed up to 3,500 people are still arriving into Ireland every day from overseas.

Professor Julien Mercille, from the Independent Scientific Advocacy Group, says all passengers should be made quarantine:

Symptoms:

The number of patients going to GPs with symptoms of Covid-19 has stopped dropping over the past two weeks. 

Dr Shane McKeogh is from GP Buddy, which tracks calls to surgeries around the country - he says there's been a worrying trend:

Progress:

The number of patients with Covid-19 in public hospitals has fallen below 600 for the first time since January 1st.

While, according to latest HSE figures 10 people in ICU died after contracting the virus - the largest number in a 24-hour period since the start of the pandemic.

There are currently 36 covid patients in midlands hospitals, 10 of whom are in ICU.

39new cases of covid were reported in the midlands last night, with a total of 574 nationwide, and a further 56 deaths.

The national 14-day incidence rate of the disease has fallen to 231.

Professor Cliona Ni Cheallaigh, a consultant in infectious diseases in Dublin, says the country is making progress:

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