Covid-19 Wednesday: 2,148 new cases, 63 deaths in past week

October 20th, 2021 4:27 PM

By Emma Connolly

As of 8am today, 639 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 58 are in ICU. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 2,148 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

As of 8am today, 464 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 86 are in ICU.

There has been a total of 5,369 deaths related to the virus notified in Ireland. This includes 63 deaths newly notified in the past week (since last Wednesday).

The five day moving average is 1,937.

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, Department of Health said: ‘Disease incidence is high and increasing across the country and across all age groups. However, vaccination has helped us prevent many serious illnesses and deaths.

‘Covid-19 is one of the most contagious viruses we have ever experienced. We have achieved extensive suppression of this disease in the past, our collective commitment to the basic measures now need to be reviewed and enhanced.

‘While vaccination rates are extremely high, they are only one tool we need to use in protecting ourselves against Covid-19. The other is compliance with basic public health measures by the general public and across sectors. This will be critical in the weeks ahead and while infection rates remain high.

‘The appropriate use of masks, physical distancing, well ventilated rooms, hand and respiratory hygiene, and the act of self-isolation with the onset of symptoms is vital if we are to mitigate the further spread of Covid-19 over the winter months.’

Dr Ronan Glynn, deputy chief medical officer, Department of Health added: ‘Booster vaccinations are underway for those 80 years or older, 65 or older and living in a nursing home or long-term care facility and, following a review by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), will also now be administered to those aged over 60. It is important that all those eligible for a booster vaccine avail of the opportunity when it is offered. Similarly, those eligible for flu vaccination should now avail of this as we are seeing an increase in circulation of other respiratory viruses.’

Rachel Kenna, chief nursing officer, Department of Health said: ‘Over 30% of the eligible population under the age of 18 are not yet fully vaccinated. I would urge parents to re-evaluate their position on vaccination and contact their GP or a healthcare professional for advice and information to address their concerns. Vaccines protect individuals from the more severe symptoms of Covid-19.’

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group added: ‘With relatively even levels of vaccination across all age groups, the median age of cases (36 years) has increased over recent weeks and is approaching the median age of the population (38 years) indicating that risk of infection is evenly distributed across the population. This also shows us that higher levels of socialisation rather than a waning of vaccine efficacy is the cause of this uptick in cases.

‘Vaccination offers very high protection against severe disease, but incomplete protection against infection and onward transmission. It remains the case that vaccination combined with adherence to public health measures is the most effective way to suppress Covid-19.’

Dr Cillian De Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory and Medical Virologist said: ‘Understanding how the virus transmits is key to understanding how you can better protect yourself from contracting and spreading the virus further. Alongside mask wearing and good ventilation, regular hand washing remains an important protective measure against Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses.’



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