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Another 46 dead with Covid-19 in Ireland

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan warned unsustainably high levels of infection meant the daily toll was likely to continue.

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Another 46 people have died with Covid-19 in Ireland (Jacob King/PA)

Another 46 people have died with Covid-19 in Ireland (Jacob King/PA)

Another 46 people have died with Covid-19 in Ireland (Jacob King/PA)

Another 46 people have died with Covid-19 in Ireland.

Unsustainably high recent levels of infection means the daily toll will continue, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan warned.

An additional 3,086 positive results were confirmed on Tuesday, the Department of Health said.

Dr Holohan said: “Unfortunately this evening we are seeing the effect of the recent surge of infections reflected in the increased mortality we are reporting.

“Unfortunately, due to the unsustainably high level of Covid-19 infection we have experienced as a country over the past few weeks, sadly these figures are likely to continue for the next period of time.”

A total of 2,397 people have lost their lives during the pandemic.

The recent rise in the number of cases has been put down to a festive season increase in socialising and the influence of the easily transmissible UK variant of the disease.

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Dr Tony Holohan urged people to stay at home (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan urged people to stay at home (Brian Lawless/PA)

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Dr Tony Holohan urged people to stay at home (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Holohan added: “What we can do today, out of respect of those who have lost their lives and those currently in hospital or intensive care units – and those caring for them – is to hold firm and stay home.”

Dr Ronan Glynn, deputy chief medical officer, said at least one in three patients admitted to hospital or critical care this month have been under the age of 65.

He added: “This clearly demonstrates that Covid-19 affects us all, regardless of age or underlying condition.”

The number of patients in hospital with coronavirus is continuing to rise, with 1,700 people now battling the virus across the country.

The health system is coming under intense pressure after Ireland’s rate of Covid-19 skyrocketed in recent weeks, resulting in an influx of patients at hospitals.

The number in ICU is at 143, and growing rapidly towards the peak number seen in the first wave, when 155 people were in critical care.

Paul Reid, chief executive of the HSE, repeated his call for people to stay at home.

Mr Reid tweeted: “Nobody wants more people sick with Covid-19.

“1,700 patients now in hospital and 143 in ICU would swap with any of us.

“The big ask of everyone is to stay at home and help get our hospitals and nursing homes back to safer levels.

“Our healthcare teams ask just this of us.”

Thirteen hospitals say they have no available intensive care beds.

Ireland has the world’s highest incidence of confirmed new cases per million people.

Officials said the number in hospital with the virus will peak at 2,200 to 2,500 people over the next two weeks, with an estimated 200 to 400 people in ICU.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) received a request from AstraZeneca for the approval of its vaccine.

Data had been submitted to European regulators for assessment.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar described it as a “very positive development”.

He tweeted: “If approved this vaccine will allow significant scaling up of vaccination programme.”

PA


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