FIVE more people have died from Covid-19 across Ireland, with the number of confirmed cases across Ireland rising by more than 600 overnight.
There are 611 new cases of coronavirus across the Republic of Ireland this Wednesday teatime, it's been announced, with Prof Philip Nolan, chair of of Nphet's Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, describing the situation as "precarious".
Of the new cases, 218 were reported in Dublin, 63 in Cork, 60 in Donegal, 35 in Galway, 31 in Kildare.
It's not yet clear how many, or indeed if there are any new cases in Limerick overnight, with the Department of Health reporting the remaining 204 of the new cases being located across 21 other counties.
As of last night, there were 1,097 confirmed Covid-19 cases reported in Limerick - up from 1,080 the day before.
In response to questions, Dr Ronan Glynn, the deputy chief medical officer said there had been 210 cases confirmed in Limerick over the last 14 days.
There's now been a total of 1,816 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland, with a total of 39,584 confirmed cases of the condition across the country.
Of today's cases, 303 are men and 305 are women, with 59% under the age of 45.
Half are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case, while 83 cases have been identified as community transmission.
The Limerick educated Dr Tony Holohan, who chaired his first press briefing since returning to his role as chief medical officer this week, said: "All key indicators of the disease have deteriorated further in the three days since the last meeting of Nphet on Sunday 4th October. Covid-19 is spreading in our community in a very worrying manner. We have to break these chains of transmission."
"80 Covid-19 cases were hospitalised in August, 206 in September and 77 so far in October. In August, 4 Covid-19 related deaths in total were reported, 34 in September and today on the 7th of October we report 8 COVID-19 related deaths this month," he added.
Dr Glynn added: "Trends in case numbers and incidence are now being reflected in indicators of disease severity. The number of people in hospital has increased from 122 last Thursday to 156 this afternoon. There are currently 25 people in critical care compared to 20 one week ago."
Professor Nolan said "Case numbers and hospitalisations are growing exponentially. The Reproductive number is now estimated at 1.2. If we fail to reduce viral transmission nationwide immediately, we could see 1,100 – 1,500 cases per day and 300-450 people in hospital by November 7.”
Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, consultant psychiatrist and HSE integrated care lead urged people to remind themselves of what they can do to suppress the virus and prevent a surge on hospital demands.
"Intensive care is the last stop in the care pathway for any illness. Focus on prevention and follow public health advice to ensure care pathways are available to as many people and treatments as possible," she said.