The Department of Health has this evening reported that 744 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported with 131 of the new cases reported in Cork.
Of the other cases notified today there were 246 in Dublin, 51 in Limerick, 40 in Wexford, 33 in Donegal and the remaining 243 cases are spread across 19 other counties.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today also been notified of 4 additional deaths related to Covid-19.
There has now been a total of 2,204 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
Speaking this evening, Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health warned that a large increase in cases reported is expected in the coming days.
“Due to the lower volume of tests being carried out over Christmas Day and yesterday, we believe there are higher levels of disease circulating in the community than today’s reported case numbers reflect. We expect, therefore, to see a large increase in cases reported over the coming days.”
As of 8am today 324 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 26 are in ICU. 50 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Dr Holohan added: “We have seen a significant increase in the number of hospitalisations in the last two weeks from less than 190 to 324 today. This indicates a deteriorating disease trajectory nationally and is a significant reminder of the severity of this disease.
“There have been further increases across key indicators of Covid-19 right across the country and the growth rate of the epidemic has accelerated in recent days.”
The CMO added: “If we do not act now to stop the spread of COVID-19, we will not be able to protect those in our society that are most at risk of serious illness or death.”
“Stay home, do not visit friends or family unless you are providing essential care and do not have visitors to your home. Follow the public health advice.”