Coronavirus: 15 deaths reported in past week; 1,861 new cases confirmed

North records highest daily death toll since February; HSE gets biggest weekly delivery of vaccines

More than 540,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines were received on Wednesday morning. Photograph: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg

More than 540,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines were received on Wednesday morning. Photograph: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg

 

A further 1,861 cases of Covid-19 in the State were reported on Wednesday evening.

As of 8am, 249 coronavirus patients were hospitalised, of which 54 were in ICU.

There has now been a total of 5,074 deaths related to Covid-19 notified in Ireland, with 15 deaths being reported in the past week.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the number of patients with Covid-19 in hospital and ICU has continued to increase in recent weeks.

“At the moment, 43 per cent of patients with Covid-19 in ICU are aged less than 50 years of age. This is a stark reminder to all of us to continue to adhere to the public health guidance and to ensure to receive both doses of Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it offered,” he said.

“In the main, we have seen very high vaccination figures in our population, particularly in the over 60s cohort who were offered their vaccines first. Unfortunately, incidence of disease is increasing across all age groups.”

Dr Holohan said vaccines are ensuring that those who are fully vaccinated are protected from the severe illness and poor outcomes related to the disease.

“For every fully vaccinated confirmed case of Covid-19, we know that vaccines are preventing about 4 other cases,” he added.

People displaying symptoms such as cough, fever, headache, sore throat and blocked or runny nose should isolate and get a test immediately, he said.

“Continue to socialise safely by risk assessing, meeting outdoors where possible. Only meet up with small numbers of people and avoid crowds. Remember, it is OK to leave if you do not feel safe.”

Hospital Report

Confirmed cases in hospital Confirmed cases in ICU
484 73

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland has recorded its highest daily Covid-19 death toll since February. Eleven further deaths of patients who previously tested positive for the virus were notified by the North’s Department of Health on Wednesday. Another 1,345 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the North were also notified. On Wednesday morning, there were 394 Covid-positive patients in hospital there, with 49 in intensive care.

A further push for take-up of the Covid-19 vaccine in the North has been planned for the weekend. Students are among those being urged to come forward on the Big Jab Weekend before the larger vaccination centres, including the SSE Arena in Belfast, close.

Speaking in response to the latest figures, the North’s Minister for Health Robin Swann urged more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

“The ongoing loss of life to this virus is heartbreaking and my thoughts are very much with the families and friends of those who have died,” he said.

“Vaccination remains our best defence against Covid-19. I would again urge people who have not yet got their vaccine do so without delay. The battle against Covid is far from over – today’s figures underline that.”

Mr Swann added: “It is also vital that we remember the basics and keep following public health advice.”

Vaccine delivery

Earlier, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the State has received its biggest weekly delivery of Covid-19 vaccines yet.

More than 540,000 doses were received on Wednesday morning. Mr Reid said the delivery was “hugely boosted by the first tranche of a total of 700,000 Romanian reallocated vaccines”.

“It’s key that we get to the smaller percentages of people now unvaccinated,” Mr Reid said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, about 83 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated against the virus while 90 per cent have received their first dose.

Brain MacCraith, chair of the high level Covid-19 vaccination task force, said 75 per cent of the eligible population (aged 12 or over) are fully vaccinated while 6.46 million doses have been administered to date.

The latest HSE figures show there were 230 people in hospital with Covid-19 on Tuesday night, with 54 of those in ICU.

Beaumont Hospital in north Dublin has the highest number of Covid-19 patients with 23, followed by University Hospital Limerick (20) and St James’s Hospital (16).

A further 1,496 cases of the virus were recorded in the State on Tuesday. Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the incidence of Covid-19 in Ireland is continuing to increase.

“Our current 14-day incidence is 493 per 100,000, the highest it’s been since January 31, and incidence of disease is continuing to rise steadily in nearly all age groups and in 21 out of 26 counties,” he said on Tuesday.

“Last Tuesday, we were seeing an average of three people with Covid-19 admitted to ICU per day, today, that figure has doubled to six people with Covid-19 admitted to ICU per day.

“If we didn’t have vaccination our current 14-day incidence would be approximately 1,000 per 100,000 and we would be seeing up to 50 people admitted to hospital for every 1,000 cases reported. Instead, we are seeing about 20 people admitted to hospital for every thousand cases reported.”

Additional reporting: PA