Covid-19: Six further deaths and 265 new cases recorded in the State

Nphet urge those planning on going out at weekend to follow public health advice

A further six people have died of Covid-19, and 265 new cases were reported in the State, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

This brings the total deaths relating to the virus to 2,068, and the total number of cases in the State since the pandemic began to 73,491.

Of the new cases, 84 are in Dublin, 28 in Louth, 27 in Limerick, 19 in Donegal, 15 in Wicklow and 15 in Galway with the remaining 77 cases are spread across 18 other counties.

Hospital Report

Nphet said a “technical issue” that delayed uploading of laboratory results to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been resolved. This led to a reduced number of cases being reported in recent days.


As a result, a higher number of cases will be reported tomorrow.

“There has been no impact on the management of cases or the timelines of contact tracing. Day-on-day variations such as these are taken into account in all epidemiological analyses,” Nphet said.

The median age of new cases is 33 years and 66 per cent are under 45 years of age.

On Friday afternoon, 232 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, of which 27 were in ICU. There were 14 additional hospitalisations in the previous 24 hours.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said the country was entering “an important phase” in efforts to suppress spread of the virus. “We have made significant progress and reduced transmission in our homes and communities, but it will take a consistent individual effort from everyone to keep up that momentum in coming weeks.”

He said the recent stabilisation in cases was fragile, “but it is within our grasp to maximise our protection against the spread of Covid-19”.

“I urge you to use the public health advice on regular handwashing, social distancing and wearing of face coverings to safeguard you and your family from the devastating impact this virus can have, especially on our most vulnerable people.”

Assistant chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn urged people heading out this weekend to make every effort to keep safe. “Plan ahead, meet outside where possible and keep your contacts to a minimum. Avoid crowded or poorly ventilated spaces and leave if your environment doesn’t feel safe.”

With 3,727 cases in the last fortnight, the national incidence is now 78.3 cases per 100,000 population. Donegal has the highest county incidence at 211.1, followed by Louth at 162.9 and Kilkenny at 148.1. Leitrim has the lowest incidence at 9.4.

CSO figures

Dublin accounted for nearly a third of the country's new coronavirus cases last week, according to figures compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), published on Friday.

There were 1,637 confirmed cases reported in the week ending November 27th, with 526 of these located in Dublin. This is the seventh week in the row the weekly number of cases has declined, following a surge of cases in the middle of October.

It is the first week since the beginning of September where the number of cases has been less than 2,000.

Donegal had the second highest number of cases last week at 159, and the incidence of the virus in the border county remains significantly higher than the national average.

For the fourth week in a row Dublin has had fewer than 1,000 cases, according to the CSO report. Healthcare workers accounted for 188 of the confirmed cases last week.

The median age of new cases was 35, however in recent weeks transmission of the virus to older, more vulnerable cohorts has increased.

At the start of August the percentage of cases among those aged 65 and over was less than five per cent of the national total. Those older age groups accounted for 13 per cent of the cases reported last week.

There were 33 coronavirus-related deaths reported last week, meaning more than 30 people have died from the virus in each of the last five weeks.

The CSO report said there were 1,798 confirmed deaths from Covid-19, with a further 255 suspected Covid-19 deaths.

To date 64 per cent of all deaths from the virus have been among people aged 80 or above.

The Covid-19 mortality rate during the second wave has been significantly lower than the rate during the height of the first wave in April, the report said.

The overall mortality rate is 25 deaths per 1,000 confirmed cases, which spiked to 74 deaths per 1,000 cases in April. The current mortality rate in November was eight deaths per 1,000 confirmed cases.

The CSO report said hospitalisation and intensive care admission rates had remained “relatively stable” since July. However, a trend tracked in recent weeks of higher transmission among older demographics had led to a knock-on increase in hospital admissions.

The hospitalisation rate in November was 58 per 1,000 cases, with nine intensive care admission per 1,000 cases.

This compared to a peak hospitalisation rate of 192 per 1,000 cases in March, and an intensive care admission rate of 27 per 1,000 cases in the same month.

Outbreaks in private homes made up 43 per cent of all cases traced to outbreaks in the last four weeks. Hospital outbreaks accounted for 16 per cent, followed by nursing homes (10 per cent), while childcare facilities and schools both accounted for six per cent.

The average number of close contacts per positive case in the week ending November 27th was three, down from four in early October. The average number of contacts among 15 to 24 years olds was higher, at four per case last week.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic there have been 1,682 deaths among people with underlying health conditions.

The median age of those with underlying conditions who died from Covid-19 was 83, and in 44 per cent of cases the condition was chronic heart disease.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is a former heath editor of The Irish Times.