The Chief Medical Officers in Northern Ireland and Ireland have voiced their concerns about the high levels of Covid-19 and are urging everyone to stay home.
In a joint statement issued this afternoon, Chief Medical Officers Dr Michael McBride and Dr Tony Holohan said they were “gravely concerned” about the “unsustainably high level of Covid-19 infection” on the island of Ireland.
“This is having a significant impact on the health of our population and the safe functioning of our healthcare systems.
“Unfortunately, due to the surge of infections we have experienced over the past few weeks, we have seen an increase in mortality figures and our health systems have been placed under immense pressure. We are likely to see ongoing increases in hospitalisations, ICU admissions and mortality in the weeks ahead,”the statement said.
Both CMOs are strongly urging everyone to stay at home except for essential reasons, and to avoid all unnecessary journeys, including cross-border travel.
They said: “Many of the patients admitted to hospital in January have been under the age of 65 years. Covid-19 can affect us all, regardless of age or underlying condition. It highlights the need for us all to protect one another by staying at home. Not only will you keep yourself and your loved ones safe, but also help to save lives and avoid more preventable Covid-19 admissions to our currently struggling healthcare systems.
“We will continue to work together to protect public health across the island, as we have done throughout this pandemic, but we need everyone to play their part by staying at home and protecting themselves and their communities.”
Last night, 3,955 Covid-19 cases were reported by authorities bringing the total number of cases reported in Ireland to 163,057.
More than 16,000 cases of Covid-19 have now been reported in Cork since the beginning of the pandemic including 8,511 cases in the 14 days up to January 13th.
There have been a total of 2,488 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.