CMO: Progress made in Covid-19 fight 'but not nearly as much as we need to make'

The Department of Health announced there have been eight further deaths related to Covid-19 in Ireland and a further 2,121 new confirmed cases
CMO: Progress made in Covid-19 fight 'but not nearly as much as we need to make'

File picture of a patient in ICU. As of 2pm today, 1,975 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 200 are in ICUs.

There have been eight further deaths related to Covid-19 in Ireland.

There have also been a further 2,121 new confirmed cases.

753 of today's cases were in Dublin, with 236 in Cork, 142 in Wexford, and 126 in Kildare

Some 109 cases are in Limerick and the remaining 755 cases are spread across all other counties.

Of today's case

  • 992 are men / 1,117 are women 
  • 58% are under 45 years of age 
  • The median age is 39 years old

The Department of Health confirmed that the median age of those who died today is 85 years and the age range is 49-93 years. 

There are no newly reported deaths in healthcare workers and there are no newly reported deaths in a young person under the age of 30.

The Chief Medical Officer urged people to stay at home as the Department confirmed that as of 2pm today, 1,975 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 200 are in ICUs.

"This third wave of the pandemic has seen higher level of hospitalisations across all age groups," said Dr Tony Holohan.

"There are now more sick people in the hospital than any time in the course of this pandemic. 

"The risk that this disease poses to the individual who is infected has not changed. What has changed is that we are experiencing a much greater level of community transmission and as a result we are seeing higher numbers of people with severe illness who require hospitalisation or admission to intensive care and higher numbers of mortality. 

"Please continue to stay at home and drive down this infection in our community."

The 14-day incidence of the virus now stands at 1,404 cases per 100,000 population.

Monaghan has the highest county incidence in the country, followed by Louth and Waterford.

Dr Holohan said: “It’s nearly three weeks since the Government introduced the current restrictions that are in place.

“We’ve made a lot of progress but not nearly as much as we need to make. We can’t keep our foot off the gas now.

“We’re still dealing with a very, very large rate of infection, a 14-day incidence in excess of 1,400 which is now the highest in Europe.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn added: "Our survey data indicates that 60% report contacting older relatives and friends to ensure they are okay. 

"Providing support and reassurance to older and more vulnerable members of society is an important part of our collective response to this pandemic. 

"Our sense of community and support for each other must remain a key part of our armoury against Covid-19."

Vaccine

It has also been confirmed that there have been 81 reports of suspected side effects associated with the Pfizer vaccine, but the reports are "generally consistent with those typically observed with other vaccines".

Dr Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive, Health Products Regulatory Authority, said that up to January 11, "the HPRA received a total of 81 reports of suspected side effects associated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

"All reports were generally consistent with those typically observed with other vaccines and included events of a mild to moderate nature which resolved or were resolving at the time of reporting. 

"Among those most frequently reported were abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, joint pain and pains in the arms, some experience of dizziness, headache, itching and a rash – all consistent with the known and anticipated side effects as emerged during the clinical trials.

“While the relatively mild effects described are of course uncomfortable for those who experience them, they do pass quickly and generally do not require any medical treatment.

“Safety monitoring of all medicines, including vaccines, is central to the remit of the HPRA and we intend to publish a regular update of the number and nature of reports regarding suspected side effects with Covid-19 vaccines, as the vaccination roll-out continues.”

Earlier today, the Minister for Further and Higher Education repeated calls to employers to help their staff work from home.

Simon Harris said there has been anecdotal evidence of too much traffic on the roads, despite appeals from Government and health officials to allow staff to work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Harris said that allowing workers to stay at home will help flatten the curve and allow the country to move out of its third wave of Covid-19 cases.

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