Fifty-six new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in County Kildare today, out of a total of 1,754 nationwide. Eleven further deaths have been attributed to the virus.
Of the cases notified today: 846 are men / 900 are women; 64% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 35 years old. Some 523 cases are in Dublin, 296 in Cork, 180 in Galway, 104 in Mayo, 94 in Kerry and the remaining 557 cases are spread across all other counties.
As of 2pm today, 504 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 47 are in ICU. 46 additional hospitalisations have occurred in the past 24 hours.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “The most concerning trend at present is the rapidly increasing number of people being admitted to hospital - we are now admitting between 50 – 70 people a day to our hospital system. Unfortunately, we expect this to get worse before it gets better. Our health system will not continue to cope with this level of impact.
"We have also seen a significant increase in positive laboratory tests in recent days reflecting a true increase in the incidence of the disease as well as the delay in people coming forward for testing over the Christmas period. As our systems catch up with these effects it places significant pressure on our reporting system.
"We have always understood that numbers of positive tests or confirmed cases would be a less reliable indicator over the Christmas period. This is typical of infectious disease reporting annually over the two weeks of Christmas and New Year.
"What is clear are the measures that the Government has now mandated and the behaviours that we as individuals need to observe. Everyone needs to stay at home other than for essential work or care.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “Tests processed and reported on a given day will normally be validated and confirmed by the HPSC the following day. Positive tests detected in laboratories require validation (to remove duplicates and other tests that do not create new cases) and transfer to the HPSC database before confirmation and reporting.
"A very large volume of positive tests in recent days means there is a delay in formal reporting. In excess of 9,000 additional new cases will be reported over the coming days. The reporting delay does not affect case management or contact tracing or our overall monitoring and modelling of the pandemic.”