48 new cases of Covid-19 in Cork today

48 new cases of Covid-19 in Cork today

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan issued a reminder of the importance of close contacts completing a 14-day period of restricted movement and presenting for two Covid-19 tests.

Tonight has seen a further eight deaths and 444 new cases of the coronavirus confirmed in the Republic.

Of today's cases, 158 are located in Dublin, 48 in Cork, 36 in Galway, 28 in Limerick and 174 cases spread across 19 other counties.

The median age of those diagnosed is 37 years old, while 61 per cent are under 45 years of age.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan issued a reminder of the importance of close contacts completing a 14-day period of restricted movement and presenting for two Covid-19 tests.

“This is because as an identified close contact, you have come into contact with the virus. It may take some time for this to become apparent, or for you to become infectious," he said.

“In following this important guidance, you are helping to bring this virus right back down to where we all need it to be and playing your part in this national effort.”

The number of people in hospital with the virus was 310 as of 2pm today, with the number remaining relatively stable over the past two weeks. There are 41 people currently being treated in intensive care.

There have been a further 10 deaths and 679 new cases of the virus reported in Northern Ireland today. This brings the total number of new cases confirmed on the island of Ireland to 1,123 this evening.

Northern Ireland has seen some 4,498 new cases over the last seven days. There are 418 patients currently hospitalised with the virus in the region, with 50 in intensive care.

The occupancy rate at hospitals has been reported at 101 per cent. There are also 120 active outbreaks at care homes across the region.

In the Republic, 51 nursing homes are currently dealing with an outbreak of Covid-19.

Nineteen residents and staff in one Co Kerry nursing home have tested positive for the virus, Minister of State for Older People Mary Butler confirmed today.

The Minister told the Oireachtas health committee that the manger of the home was among those diagnosed with the virus.

"It's a really, really difficult issue," Ms Butler said.

She confirmed that support from community teams, the HSE and the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) were on site to aid with the outbreak.

It comes as Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly confirmed today that the reproductive rate of the virus has now fallen below one in a sign that its growth is being suppressed.

The positivity rate of tests conducted over the past week has also decreased further to 4.7 per cent - below the 5 per cent benchmark which the World Health Organisation says shows the spread of the disease is out of the control.

However, Mr Donnelly said he remained seriously concerned about the recent number of positive tests in the State, with almost 11,000 reported over the past two weeks up to Wednesday morning.

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