A record 1,276 new cases of Covid-19 in the Republic were confirmed this evening as the Government met to discuss Nphet's recommendation to move to level 5. This tops the 1,095 cases confirmed on Wednesday, October 14 earlier this week, and the 1,068 cases confirmed on April 15.
This evening's figures also include eight deaths from Covid-19, five of which occurred in October, two in September and one in June.
Dublin had the most number of cases confirmed today with 278 cases reported followed by Cork with 149 and Meath with 108 cases recorded.
The announcement of the record number of infections came as the HSE's chief executive Paul Reid said hospitals in Ireland are coping but under pressure.
Mr Reid said management and staff are trying to protect non-Covid services in the health system but are concerned HSE staff are contracting the coronavirus after becoming infected as a result of community spread.
Spoke to our hospital managers & consultants now. Feedback, 1.Coping but under pressure. 2.Trying to protect non Covid care. 3.Concern re staff getting virus in communities at a key time that we need them. The public actions are key now to keep all services going. @HSELive— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) October 17, 2020
The total number of cases in Ireland since the outbreak began has now reached 48,678 while total Covid-related deaths have reached 1,849.
A further breakdown of case data among patients shows:
- 644 are men / 631 are women
- 69% are under 45 years of age
- The median age is 31 years old
- 107 cases are in Galway, 80 cases are in Wexford, and the remaining 554 cases are spread across 21 counties.
- 260 Covid-19 patients in Ireland have been hospitalised of which 30 are in intensive care. There were 19 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
- 18 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospital in the last 24 hours. 2 patients were discharged from intensive care.
The latest case numbers and data come as the Government is meeting to consider the National Public Health Emergency Team's (Nphet) latest recommendation to escalate Covid-19 restrictions to Level 5.
The Cabinet sub-committee this afternoon received a briefing from the CMO Dr Tony Holohan and Deputy CMO Dr Ronan Glynn about the current status of the coronavirus in Ireland.
Government Ministers, Stephen Donnelly, Paschal Donohoe, and Michael Mcgrath were also in attendance. This is the second time in two weeks that Nphet have made the recommendation for Level 5 measures to be introduced.
Arriving at Government buildings for the meeting, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan cautioned against rushed decisions but said no option should be ruled out.
Mr Ryan said: "You don't want to rush in. [To] make the right decision that can take a bit of time to consider all the options, I don't think we should rule anything out."
Mr Ryan added that he wants to see further data about how some counties are faring with new restrictions as case numbers appear to stabilise.
"In certain counties, it has seemed to have stablised somewhat so I don't think we should be categoric and that's why I'm keen to see all the figures as to see any evidence of further stabilisation which is what we want," said Mr Ryan.
In Northern Ireland today, 1,031 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.
This brings the total number of cases confirmed in Northern Ireland since the outbreak began to 26,208 and the death toll has now reached 610 after two further deaths were recorded.