There have been 60 additional deaths related to COVID-19 reported by the Department of Health today, one of which occurred in December, and the remainder of which were this month.
Galway has 132 new cases, out of 3,231 new confirmed cases nationwide notified today.
As of 2pm today, 1,854 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised of whom 191 are in ICU. There have been 119 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours
The median of the people in the deaths reported today is 85 years old, while the age range of the people who died is between 65 and 100 years.
There have now been a total of 2,595 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland, and 169,780 confirmed cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Validation of data by the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of one death and seven previously confirmed cases.
“This virus has taken root in every single part of the country. A significant percentage of the population – in excess of 1 in 10 in some counties – is currently either a case or a close contact,” said Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer.
“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.”
While there are some early indications that cases may be levelling off, the level of infection is still far too high Dr Holohan said, also cautioning that too many people are still not complying with restrictions as much as is needed.
Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said that it is inevitable that the UK variant of the coronavirus will become the dominant strain here.
“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.”
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