There have been 50 further deaths related to COVID-19 reported by the Department of Health today, along with 187 cases in Galway.
Nationwide there have been 3,498 new cases of COVID-19 notified today. The median age of the people who died was 82 years old. None of the deaths were among people under 30.
There are 1,850 patients hospitalised with the disease in Ireland as of this afternoon, of whom 184 are in the ICU.
There have now been a total of 166,548 confirmed cases in Ireland, and 2,536 COVID-19 related deaths in the state.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, said “New variants of COVID-19 have recently been identified in Brazil, and in travellers to Japan from Brazil. There is no evidence of these variants in Ireland.”
“Anyone who has travelled from Brazil in the last 14 days is advised to self-isolate for 14 days, from the date of arrival, and identify themselves, through a GP, for testing as soon as possible.”
“It is essential that anyone arriving from Brazil self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival before entering/re-entering the workplace. We are particularly appealing to employers to enable their employees to protect each other by staying at home for the full 14 days.”
A further risk assessment on the new variants is expected from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in the coming week.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said that the number of close contacts per confirmed case has dropped from a peak of six in recent weeks, down to 2.3.
This is the reason why we are beginning to see case numbers fall once again he added.
“We know that it is extremely difficult to keep our close contacts to a minimum, particularly over an extended period of time.
“But this is the main way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19. Again today, we are reporting the highest number of people with COVID-19 to date in our hospitals. We must stay home to protect ourselves and each other.”
The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.