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Officials Announce 51 New Coronavirus-Related Deaths And 2,608 New Cases

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

05:55 21 Jan 2021


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A further 51 virus-related deaths and 2,608 new cases have been announced this evening.

Health officials said 49 of the deaths happened this month.

It takes the death toll in Ireland to 2,818 and the total number of cases to 181,922.

The death toll accounts for the denotification of one death.

This afternoon, there were 1,943 COVID-19 patients in hospital and 214 in intensive care.

coronavirus Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan (left) and Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, at a briefing in the Department of Health. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “While we are making clear progress in reducing incidence, we can see we still have a very large burden of infection,”

“To illustrate this, on Dec 1st, when we last eased restrictions, our five-day moving average was 261 cases per day, today it is almost ten times that number at 2,430 cases per day.

“It is evident that the population is working as one to reduce contacts and interrupt further transmission of the disease; however, we are witnessing the effects of high levels of community transmission through our hospital and ICU admissions and reported deaths.

“We need to continue to work together to drive this infection down and bring the disease back under control.”

The 14-day rate of the virus now stands at 1140.7 cases per 100,000 people.

Monaghan still has the highest rate in the country at 2,134, with 12 other counties still reporting rates higher than 1,000.

Ireland's 14-day incidence of the coronavirus. Image: Department of Health

The Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group Professor Philip Nolan said the country must work to keep the reproductive number of the virus below 1.0.

“Incidence is gradually falling but remains very high across all age groups but particularly in those aged 85 and older,” he said.

“A considerable effort by all of us to cut down on contacts has resulted in the R number reducing to 0.5 - 0.8. We have to keep it below 1.0 if we are to successfully emerge out of this current wave.”

Covid-19 Vaccine 30/12/2020 Covid-19 Pandemic (Coronavirus), Ireland. Day 280 since start of lockdown. Day 7 of phased return to Level 5 restrictions. Pictured is Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly wearing a face mask as he arrives at Government Buildings for this afternoon's emergency Cabinet meeting on Covid response. Photograph: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

It comes after Dr Holohan warned the Government that there could be as many as 1,000 deaths this month.

In a letter to the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, he said the January death toll was likely to be between 500 and 1,000.

He said even “optimistic projections” suggest the country will be recording between 800 and 1,6000 cases a day by the end of January.

This evening, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer said 532 had been recorded this month already.

"We can unfortunately expect this trend to continue over the coming days," he said.

"Limiting contacts, keeping physical distance from others, hand hygiene, appropriate use of face coverings and general awareness about how your interactions could potentially spread infection will ultimately prevent further morbidity.

He said following the guidelines will "directly save lives."


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