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15,000 cases in last 14 days as Holohan urges us to 'dig deep'

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CMO Dr Tony Holohan

CMO Dr Tony Holohan

CMO Dr Tony Holohan

Dublin has had more than 1,000 cases of Covid-19 a week for five weeks in a row, it has emerged.

It comes with the first signs that people may finally be curbing their social lives again in the face of a second surge of Covid-19, but it is unclear if this will lead to a shorter lockdown.

There are signals that people reduced their social contacts in the first two weeks of October when Level 3 restrictions were imposed nationwide.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show that the number of contacts of a person who tested positive went down from six to four during that time.

The number of contacts in the 15-24 year age group fell to five, down from 10 in August.

The CSO said there were 1,000 cases a week in Dublin for five weeks in a row up to October 16.

The number of newly diagnosed people with the virus fell to 777 yesterday after being well over 1,000 for many days.

However, there were seven more people who died from the virus.

Among the new cases, 182 were in Dublin, 81 in Galway, 44 in Wexford, 42 in Meath and 41 in Cork.

The remaining 387 cases were spread across the 21 remaining counties.

As of 2pm yesterday, 319 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, of whom 37 were in intensive care. There were 24 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

One of the features of the second wave of Covid-19 is that there appears to be a reasonable flow of patients through the hospital system in terms of admissions and discharges.

"15,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 over the last 14 days," said chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan.

"It is vital for everyone with a recent diagnosis to self-isolate for the full 10 days to protect the people they live with, the people they love and people in their communities from this highly infectious disease.

Break

"Self-isolate means stay at home, stay in your room as much as possible, stay away from other people, including those in your household.

Dr Holohan appealed to the public to "dig deep" and "break the chains" of transmission of the virus.

"If you live with someone who has Covid-19 or you have been told that you are a close contact, you must restrict your movements for a full 14 days," he said.

"Stay at home. Don't go to work. Don't go to school. I appeal to everyone to behave as though you are a close contact.

"Stay at home, other than for essential reasons. Now is the time to use our reserves of energy and dig deep in our efforts to follow the public health advice.

"Keep your distance, wash your hands and wear a face covering. Play your part to break the chains of transmission across families, neighbours and communities."

Meanwhile, the CSO figures revealed that for the week ending October 16 nearly one in two cases linked to an outbreak were under 25 years old.

Private houses accounted for 54pc of Covid-19 cases in the last four weeks

Extended family made up 9pc, while childcare facilities and schools together accounted for 5pc of cases linked to an outbreak in this period.

People living in electoral divisions defined as 'very disadvantaged' and 'disadvantaged' have accounted for 41pc of all cases since the pandemic began.

This is despite them making up 37pc of the population.

Those living in electoral divisions labelled 'affluent' or 'very affluent' have made up 35pc of all cases since the start of the pandemic, although they make up 40pc of the population.

Those in affluent areas were most impacted in March, June and July, while those in disadvantaged areas were worst hit in August and September.

However, cases have begun to increase again among those living in affluent areas in recent weeks.

Worst

Cavan continued to have the worst fourteen-day incidence rate of the virus yesterday, followed by Meath, Westmeath, Monaghan, Sligo, Galway, Cork, Wexford and Donegal.

The other counties with high levels included Clare, Longford, Kildare, Limerick, Louth, Leitrim, Roscommon and Dublin. Wicklow and Tipperary had the lowest incidence rates.

The figures showed that for the week ending October 16, some 24 deaths were recorded. The virus claimed the lives of 56 more men than women up to and including that week.

It also continues to impact the older age groups the hardest, with 64pc of all confirmed Covid-19 deaths to date in the 80 years old or older age group.


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