More than 500 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported so far this month and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn has warned there will be more Covid-19 related deaths reported over the coming days.
This evening, health officials reported that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 51 additional deaths related to Covid-19.
49 of these deaths occurred in January.
The median age of those who died is 80 years and the age range is 58-103 years.
It brings the number of Covid-19 related deaths reported in Ireland to 2,818.
Speaking this evening, Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “There have been 532 deaths so far in January and we can unfortunately expect this trend to continue over the coming days.
"Limiting contacts, keeping physical distance from others, hand hygiene, appropriate use of face coverings and general awareness about how your interactions could potentially spread infection will ultimately prevent further morbidity. Following public health advice will directly save lives.”
As of midnight, Wednesday 20th January, the HPSC had been notified of 2,608 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
Of the cases notified today:1,230 are men / 1,346 are women, 55% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 42 years old .
There were 1,019 cases in Dublin, 204 in Cork, 135 in Donegal, 132 in Galway, 131 in Kildare, and the remaining 987 cases are spread across all other counties.
A total of 6,585 cases have now been reported in Cork in the past 14 days and the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population is 1,213.
Meanwhile, as of 2pm today, 1,943 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 214 are in ICU. 105 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Last night, 153 people with Covid-19 were being treated at Cork University Hospital- the highest number of people with the virus being treated at any hospital in the country.
A further 44 people with Covid-19 were being treated at the Mercy University Hospital.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said that "while we are making clear progress in reducing incidence we can see we still have a very large burden of infection – to illustrate this on Dec 1st, when we last eased restrictions, our 5 day moving average was 261 cases per day, today it is almost ten times that number at 2,430 cases per day.
“It is evident that the population is working as one to reduce contacts and interrupt further transmission of the disease. However, we are witnessing the effects of high levels of community transmission through our hospital and ICU admissions and reported deaths. We need to continue to work together to drive this infection down and bring the disease back under control.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said; “Incidence is gradually falling but remains very high across all age groups but particularly in those aged 85 and older. A considerable effort by all of us to cut down on contacts has resulted in the R number reducing to 0.5 - 0.8. We have to keep it below 1.0 if we are to successfully emerge out of this current wave.”