Coronavirus: 10 further deaths and 617 new cases reported

The latest figures show 179 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, with 48 in intensive care.
Coronavirus: 10 further deaths and 617 new cases reported

Tomas Doherty

A further ten deaths and 617 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the Republic on Thursday.

Seven of the deaths occurred in April, one in March, one in February and one occurred in January.

The latest figures show 176 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, with 48 in intensive care.

Of the new cases, 236 were in Dublin, 84 in Donegal, 37 in Kildare, 34 in Tipperary, 30 in Offaly and the remaining 196 were spread across 20 other counties.

Donegal has the highest incidence rate in the country at 257 cases per 100,000, followed by Offaly at 213 and Kildare at 200.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “We are in a strong position in that transmission levels have reduced substantially and the rollout of vaccination is protecting more and more of those at risk from the severe effects of Covid-19.

“If we can maintain our current position there is hope that we can look forward to a real easing of measures, but it is as important as ever that we don’t put that progress at risk by letting our collective guard down too much, or too early.”

The update comes as the head of the health service said the State is still seeing “concerning” levels of transmission of Covid, despite the country being in a “much better place” than earlier this year.

Paul Reid warned continued vigilance is needed in tandem with the rollout of the State’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The HSE chief executive said more than 150,000 vaccinations will be administered next week but he would not confirm whether they will reach the Government’s target of 250,000.

Mr Reid said it would all depend on the delivery of supplies of the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and the decision by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“It’s going to be over 150,000. That’s what we’re targeting but I can’t give specifics,” he told the HSE weekly Covid-19 update briefing.

“It will hugely depend on the Niac decision.”

Vaccine registration

Meanwhile, people aged between 60 and 64 will be able to register online for a Covid-19 vaccination from Friday.

The HSE’s vaccine portal has been open to people between the ages of 65 and 69 since last week.

To date, more than 143,000 have registered through the online system, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said.

From Friday it will be extended to people in the 60-64 age bracket.

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