The number of Covid-19 related deaths reported in Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic has risen to more than 6,000.
This evening the Department of Health confirmed that 83 Covid-19 related deaths were reported in the past week, bringing the number of Covid-19 deaths reported nationally since the beginning of the pandemic to 6,035.
Latest Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) figures show that 512 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported in Cork since the beginning of the pandemic, and up to January 4.
This evening the Department of Health said the HPSC has today been notified of 20,909 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
As of 8am today, 1,055 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, 92 of whom are in ICU.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is continuing to have a significant impact on all areas of society and economy due to its increased growth advantage compared to Delta.
“There are some early, positive indicators however, that suggest infection from Omicron results in less severe illness and reduced requirement for care in hospital,” he said.
The CMO said that today’s changes to the public health management of Covid-19 cases and close contacts are framed in light of available evidence, expert views and the international experience of Covid-19, including the recently published guidance from ECDC.
“It is important to note that the changes announced today cover a range of measures from self-isolation and restriction of movements to mask wearing and testing. These measures are more proportionate to the current level of infection and the impact it is having. In particular, while we are reducing the requirement to self-isolate and restrict movements for cases and close contacts respectively, we are strengthening guidance relating to mask wearing and reduced social contact for the full ten days following diagnosis or last known close contact.
“These measures are intended to maintain our protection of public health while reducing pressure on the health service and enabling the continued operation of other economic and social sectors in society, including essential services.
“If you do not have a confirmed Covid-19 infection or have been identified as a close contact, the best way you can continue to protect yourself and your loved ones from Covid-19 is to Layer Up on the public health advice,” he added.