Coronavirus infections surge by more than 50% in a week

At least 1% of the population in parts of Republic has tested positive in last fortnight

Many parts of the country now have 14-day incidence rates of more than 1,000 per 100,000. File photograph: The Irish Times

Many parts of the country now have 14-day incidence rates of more than 1,000 per 100,000. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

Covid-19 cases have surged by 57 per cent in the last week with the number of hot spots for the virus growing all the time.

The 14-day incidence rate nationwide increased from 587 cases per 100,000 last week to 924 per 100,000 this week, according to the figures produced by the Health Surveillance Protection Centre.

Many parts of the country now have 14-day incidence rates of more than 1,000 per 100,000 – meaning that at least 1 per cent of the population in that area has tested positive in the last fortnight.

The surge in case numbers has prompted the Department of Public Health Mid-West to advise people living in Limerick, Clare and north Tipperary to limit their movements.

In the previous 14 days up to November 8th there were 3,374 cases in the area, 1,810 in Limerick, 1,027 in Clare and 546 in north Tipperary.

It blamed rising numbers on “pre-pandemic levels of social activity”. Director of public health Mid West Mal Mannix said it anticipated a “considerable increase in Covid-19 cases should social activity remain at its current rate”.

Shannon (1,029.7 per 100,000) and Killaloe (1,000 per 100,000) in Co Clare, Adare (1,140.4 per 100,000) and Limerick City East (1,001.6) in Limerick, and Nenagh (1,300.7 per 100,000) in north Tipperary are all local electoral areas (LEA) with 14 day incidence rates above 1,000 per 100,000 of the population.

Carndonagh in Co Donegal, is the worst affected LEA in the country with a rate of 1,992.5 per 100,000.

Manorhamilton in Co Leitrim is the second worst affected incidence rate of 1,811.3 per 100,000. All three LEAs in Leitrim now have rates of more than 1,000 per 100,000 of the population.

Leitrim is one of 11 counties above that threshold, the others being Waterford, Carlow, Louth, Laois, Longford, Meath, Westmeath, Donegal, Cork and Kerry.

Leitrim (1,426.2 per 100,000), Waterford (1,037.5 per 100,000) and Carlow (1,185.6 per 100,000) are now the worst-affected counties in the State.

Cahir in Co Tipperary (1,556 per 100,000), Lismore in Co Waterford (1,529.3 per 100,000) and Drogheda in Co Louth (1,504.8 per 100,000) have rates of more than 1,500 per 100,000.

Cork city

The whole of Cork city along with Macroom, Mallow, Fermoy, and Cobh have rates above 1,000 per 100,000 as does most of the north and west Co Dublin.

The LEA with the lowest level of Covid-19 in the country remains Belmullet in Co Mayo which had an 14-day incidence rate of 198.4 per 100,000.

The area was hit hardest during the January surge with 1,000 cases in a three-week period.

Paul Moynagh, professor of immunology at Maynooth University, said the high prevalence in Belmullet last January generated “significant levels of immunity from natural infection” and this was likely even an underestimate given that not all infections are detected.

The opposite impact is being felt in counties including Leitrim Waterford and Kerry which were largely spared in January but now have some of the highest rates countrywide.