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We're 'on the right track' but ICU numbers high and 330 in hospitals

Two deaths and another 552 cases as R-number drops to 1.0

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Practically empty city streets yesterday

Practically empty city streets yesterday

Practically empty city streets yesterday

The number of cases of Covid-19 is "on the right track" but the amount of people being hospitalised remains high.

The latest figures show there were two more deaths from Covid-19 and 552 more cases have been recorded yesterday.

However, yesterday marked the seventh day in a row when the number of new cases was below 1,000.

Some 173 of the cases were in Dublin, 86 in Cork, 40 in Limerick, 30 in Donegal and the remaining 223 cases were across all other counties.

Some 330 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, of which 47 are in ICU. There were 17 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

A total of 63pc were in people under 45 years of age

Ireland's 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 is 253.5. Cavan has the highest incidence rate in the country at 590.7, Meath is second with 474.3, Sligo is third with 360.1, Donegal is fourth with 321.0.

Early

Dublin is in tenth place for the lowest number of cases with 220.9. While Leitrim has the lowest incidence rate in the country with 106.1.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said progress is being made in terms of suppressing Covid-19 in Ireland, but while the country is "on the right track", it is still too early for people to ease their efforts.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) on Saturday was notified of five additional deaths related to Covid-19 and 416 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Dr Holohan said that nationally, our reproductive number has reduced to about 1.0.

"We are working collectively to achieve suppression, but it is too early to ease our efforts.

"The incidence is decreasing in young adults but it continues to rise in those aged over 75.

"We have more to do but we are on the right track," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Cillian De Gascun, chair of the Covid-19 expert advisory group NPHET, said it was "probably difficult to give an exact answer" to whether Level 3 alone had been enough to drive figures down.

However, he added that he suspected statistics had not yet shown "the impact" of moving to Level 5.

"Generally speaking, after intervention, it probably takes 10 to 14 days to see an impact," he said.

He said a "decline in cases probably started with enhanced Level 3 restrictions" and that, combined with public health advice to avoid visiting other households, had helped drive down case numbers.

"It's been very positive, we are down over the past number of days," he said.

Dr De Gascun pointed out while Dr Holohan has stated the aim of Level 5 was to get to under 100 cases a day, "as a society we want to get the number down as low as possible."

"The lower we get it, closer to December, the longer we will benefit from the interventions," he said.

While the decline in daily case numbers was positive, he said citizens still needed to remember that "out of the hundreds of cases, people end up in hospital, in intensive care and unfortunately, some people will pass away, so it's very important people stick with the intervention," he said on RTÉ's This Week.

With schools returning after the Halloween midterm break, it is not known whether any will remain affected by the sudden withdrawal of dozens more hand sanitisers and other anti-Covid products.

The move left some principals and boards of management spending the weekend securing fresh supplies ahead of today's return.

About 400 schools contacted a dedicated helpline set up by the Department of Education over the weekend, which was established to support principals to secure these replacement supplies.

Last Thursday, the Department of Education had told principals to remove 52 sanitisation products from use in schools that had been on an official purchase list for the education sector.

As part of the efforts to help schools, they were financially supported to employ an aide for two days towards getting the supplies replaced over the weekend, and doing whatever was necessary.

The Department of Education had pledged that schools impacted by the removal of these products would be provided with funding to source new supplies.


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