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Death toll rises along with COVID-19 cases in Ireland

DUBLIN: The Irish cabinet will meet today for stricter restrictions and guidelines as the death toll rises with the COVID-19 cases in the third wave of Coronavirus.

The health department yesterday confirmed 5,325 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths in Ireland. It is now clear that 25% of confirmed COVID cases are from the mutated virus found in the UK. NPHET confirmed that there were 16 deaths in a single day yesterday due to COVID-19 infection.

Today’s meeting will also officially decide on the closure of all schools in Ireland, except special schools. Earlier, Taoiseach Micheál Martin had said that the government was considering extending the opening of the school.

The HSE revealed that the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals is at an all-time high. HSE also said it would have agreements on COVID-19 treatment with more private hospital groups.

Today’s meeting will consider the organisation of the Leaving Cert exams, restrictions on employment and construction, and the decision to make the COVID-19 negative test result mandatory for those arriving in Ireland.

At the same time, the number of people who lost their jobs under COVID-19 restrictions increased. The number of Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) buyers is also on the rise. Since December 22, 58,000 people have bought new PUPs (an increase of more than 20%). A total of 335,600 people were due to receive the PUP.

The number of ICU patients is also increasing exponentially. There is also a huge increase in the number of patients coming to hospitals every day.

Of the cases confirmed yesterday, 2,550 were men and 2,769 were women. 63% were under the age of 45, while the median age is 36.

There were 1,931 cases in Dublin, 767 in Cork, 323 in Kildare, 322 in Limerick and 238 in Donegal. The remaining 1,744 cases are spread across all other counties.

The infection rate in the country rose to 674.4 per 100,000. The highest rates of infection were reported in Monaghan (1,243), Louth (1,173.1) and Limerick (1,113.4). The lowest rates were recorded at Wicklow (323), Tipperary (326.5) and Westmeath (376.3).

The chief medical officer Dr. Tony Holohan said there is now a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions.

“We have seen some early progress in that the average number of contacts per case has been dropping in recent days, but we need to continue this effort to limit as much as we can our contact with other people in the days and weeks ahead.”

“If we all stay home and keep to the public health advice, we can bring Covid-19 back under control, which ultimately will protect our essential services such as Health and Education and most importantly save lives,” Dr. Holohan said.

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