Coronavirus: Over 17,000 New Cases Confirmed

The INMO says staff are reaching breaking point.

The Deparment of Health has reported 17,071 Covid-19 cases.

717 people are in hospital with the virus, and 87 are in ICU

A further 17,071 cases of Covid-19 were recorded by the Department of Health today.

While the daily figure has decreased from the almost 23,300 reported yesterday, the recent drop in hospitalistons has reversed.

As of today 61 more patients are in hospital with the virus compared to yesterday.

But comparing that to the number on Christmas Day, the hospital figures have more than doubled.

378 were hospitalised on the 25th with that number rising to 717 eight days later.

The ICU figures have shown more stability however.

87 are in ICU as of this morning, with the figure yet to eclipse the 100 mark in eleven days.Hospitals are being urged to curtail all non-emergency activity and introduce greater measures to reduce transmission of Covid-19.

It comes as the number of staff absent increases due to high infection rates.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says the hospital system's too small to cope with servicing emergency care, Covid care and elective treatments.

General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha says staff are reaching breaking point:

Meanwhile, scientists at a research centre in Antarctica are battling a Covid-19 outbreak.

It's reported a team of around 16 workers at the Princess Elisabeth Polar Station have tested positive.

The base is located in one of the most remote regions in the world.

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