BREAKING: Longford ONLY county with no new cases as national effort 'to drive down Covid-19 infection has stalled'
Longford is the ONLY county with no new cases of Covid-19 reported today by NPHET, with Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, stating, "In our objective to use a six-week period to drive down Covid-19 infection in the community, our progress has stalled in the last week."
One has to go back to the NPHET daily briefing of October 11 for the last time there were no cases reported in Longford.
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Longford since the pandemic began now stands at 622 (622 as at midnight Tuesday, November 17 ; plus zero cases - pending verification - announced this evening).
The 14-day incidence rate in Longford is currently 100.3 (per 100,000 population), dropping from 110.1 the previous day and it is below the national rate of 116.5.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of four additional deaths related to Covid-19 and 429 new cases across the country.
Of the latest cases, 173 are in Dublin, 44 are in Cork, 26 are in Donegal, 22 are in Louth, 21 are in Kildare and the remaining 143 cases are spread across the remaining 20 counties.
As of 2pm this Thursday, 290 Covid-19 patients are being treated in hospital, of which 33 are in ICU.
Commenting on the latest figures, Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, said: "In our objective to use a six-week period to drive down Covid-19 infection in the community, our progress has stalled in the last week. We now have two weeks to get back on track. Drive down the disease by limiting the number of daily contacts you have. Work from home, stay at home and follow public health advice to get us to a reproduction number below 0.5 by December 1st.”
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said: "Deaths associated with Covid-19 have increased by 18% in the European region over the past fortnight. Last week alone, Europe registered over 29,000 new deaths. That is one person dying every 17 seconds. We have made significant progress in Ireland over recent weeks, but the disease and its risks have not changed. Please continue in your efforts to follow public health advice, limit the transmission of Covid-19 in Ireland and protect those who are most vulnerable in our families and across our communities.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, added: “For three weeks we saw case numbers declining at a rate of between 5 and 7 per cent per day and a reproduction number as low as 0.6. We are aware that case numbers have now stopped declining and as a consequence the reproduction number has increased to an estimated 0.7- 0.9."
Professor Nolan added: "The data strongly suggests that a small, recent increase in the level of social contacts has led to the increase in reproduction number we see now. A small additional effort to reduce our contacts will make a big difference to reduce disease incidence before December 1st.”
Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said: “This pandemic has placed huge demands on our healthcare workers in addition to the standard care of patients. Their work now involves additional infection prevention and control measures which require constant vigilance and awareness. The best way we all can show our appreciation for their work is by doing your part to reduce community transmission.”