Coronavirus cases in Longford. Image by iXimus from Pixabay
It is another dark day for Covid-19 in Ireland, with the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) announcing 3,955 more confirmed cases of the virus this evening, along with 28 additional deaths.
Nationally, Longford recorded the lowest number of new infections with seven new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the county.
It means that from January 1, 2021 to January 13, 2021, the accumulated number of Covid-19 infections in Longford stands at 369 (Jan 1 - 39 cases; Jan 2 - 55 cases; Jan 3 - 30 cases; Jan 4 - 5 cases; Jan 5 - 78 cases; Jan 6 - 28 cases; Jan 7 - 34 cases; Jan 8 - 9 cases; Jan 9 - 43 cases; Jan 10 - 7 cases; Jan 11 - 6 cases; Jan 12 - 28 cases and Jan 13 - 7 cases).
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Longford since the pandemic began is 1,159 (1,152 as at Tuesday, January 12 plus the 7 announced today by NPHET - see table below).
Longford's 14 day incidence rate of Covid-19 is currently the fifth lowest in the country at 949.3 per 100,000 population (down from 976.2 per 100,000 the previous day) on the back of 388 cases in the past fortnight.
The national incidence is now 1,497.0 per 100,000 people, on the back of 71,286 cases in the past two weeks. The 7 day incidence is 744.5 per 100 k while the five day average for new cases has fallen again today to 4,473.
Of the cases notified today 1,210 are in Dublin, 456 in Cork, 235 in Louth, 221 in Meath and 218 in Limerick. The remaining 1,615 cases are spread across all other counties.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health gave details on the deaths from Covid this January.
“Today we are giving some more information on the 208 people who have been reported to have sadly died from COVID-19 so far this month. Of these, 23 cases have been linked to outbreaks in hospitals and 38 with outbreaks in Nursing Homes. The ages of those who have died range from 25 to 98 years. Every death associated with COVID-19 is a tragedy. We must cut our social contacts in order to break the chains of transmission and protect those who are most vulnerable to this disease. Stay at home and save lives,” he said.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health again urged the "hold firm" message.
“COVID-19 is having a very significant impact on our health system. The best way we can protect ourselves and each other is by staying home and only leaving home for essential journeys. We have the power to change the trajectory of the disease in our communities. We must hold firm and continue to stay home.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said this wave is "perhaps worse" than the first wave a year ago.
“From an epidemiological perspective, what we are seeing in this wave is different to what we have seen since springtime, and perhaps worse. The penetration of the virus throughout all ages of the population is a particular cause for serious concern, as is risk of severe disease that all of these people face. Poor health outcomes, risk of serious or long-term illness and hospitalisation remain a risk for us all when it comes to COVID-19. That is why we must follow public health advice and protect not only ourselves but our hospital system and healthcare workers by staying at home.”
The viruses are mutating, said Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory.
“It is not unusual for viruses to mutate over time. We have identified multiple different SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Ireland since the start of the pandemic, and 2 of the 3 recently emerged variants of concern from the UK and South Africa. We also expect that more variants will emerge across the world in the coming months. While some of the new variants will increase the risk of becoming infected because they have increased transmissibility – they can stick longer and better to surfaces – this does not mean that our continued adherence to the public health advice is in anyway less effective. We must continue to wash our hands, wear a face covering where appropriate, maintain our social distance and continue to adhere to the public health advice.”
Mr Liam Woods, Director of Acute Hospitals, HSE said: “Our hospitals and our frontline healthcare workers are working under the enormous strain COVID-19 is exerting on our health service. 1,789 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, 169 of those in intensive care. The best way we can protect our health service and support our frontline workers is to stay home and continue to adhere to the public health advice.”
As of 2pm today, 1,789 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 169 are in ICU. 154 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.