Digital Desk Staff
Updated at 18:15
An additional 19,290 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed by the Department of Health this evening.
They said as of 8am today, 1,062 Covid-19 patients are in hospital and there are 92 in ICU.
The department added that "Given the current high incidence, the daily case numbers are based on positive SARS-CoV-2 results uploaded to the HSE COVID Care Tracker the preceding day. This data is provisional."
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) January 11, 2022
They said the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) surveillance partners will continue to notify and process cases and outbreaks of Covid-19 on CIDR over this period.
It comes as Dr Tony Holohan said up to 500,000 Irish people were likely to have been infected with Covid-19 last week.
The likely prevalence of active infection was 5.7-9.6 per cent, equivalent to between one in 10 and one in 20 of the population, the chief medical officer has told Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.
As The Irish Times reports, the 14-day incidence last week hit its highest level in the pandemic, at 4,450 cases per 100,000 people, but Dr Holohan’s estimate is even higher at it takes account of testing constraints and undetected infections.
Covid-19 cases in hospital are growing at about 7 per cent per day, chief medical officer, Dr Holohan says in a letter sent to Mr Donnelly on January 6th.
Incidence is high across all age groups and is higher than at any time in the pandemic in all but the oldest age groups, he says. Test positivity has also increased in those aged 65 years and older in recent weeks.
Relaying new guidance from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), Dr Holohan advises that all types of masks, including cloth masks, can significantly reduce transmission if they are properly constructed, well fitted and appropriately worn.
“Medical grade and respirator masks, if properly worn, offer greater protection than cloth masks; anyone who wishes to wear a medical grade or respirator mask instead of a cloth mask should do so, so long as whichever mask they choose is well-fitting and worn properly.”
People who are over 60 or are medically vulnerable, who are currently advised to wear a medical mask in confined spaces, “may prefer to wear a respirator mask,” Nphet now advises.
Officials also say “ideally” a respirator or medical-grade mask, and not a cloth mask, should be worn by anyone: with a confirmed diagnosis during their infectious period; with symptoms; who is a household contact of a confirmed case; or who is visiting a healthcare setting or visiting those who are vulnerable to Covid-19.
Dr Holohan says Nphet will prepare a report before its next meeting (next week) that will allow for a better understanding of the severity of Omicron, the impact of vaccination and boosters and other “important measures” of the impact of Covid-19 on the health system.
“While the current situation is dynamic and there are still a number of important uncertainties, we have the benefit of a year’s data on Covid-19 vaccines, and it is timely to reassess our strategic priorities for Covid-19 immunisation in the near and medium term.”