A SENIOR official with the HSE has said that the challenge of tackling Covid-19 is "now much greater" than it was in the first wave of the pandemic in Ireland.
That is according to HSE's chief clinical officer, Dr Colm Henry, reflecting on Ireland's transmission trend, after 1,205 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours. Three further deaths were recorded nationwide.
There have been 41 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours in Limerick. As of Wednesday night, there have been 1,301 confirmed cases in Limerick to date.
Limerick has a 14-day incidence rate of 207.3 per 100,000 people, just over the national average of 206.7.
To date there have been 1,838 deaths and 46,429 cases in Ireland.
Of the cases notified today, 614 are men and 590 are women; 71% are under 45 years of age; the median age is 34 years old; 288 are in Dublin, 173 Cork, 123 in Meath, 97 in Galway 63 in Cavan and the remaining 461 cases are spread across all remaining counties.
There were 13 new cases in Clare and five new cases in Tipperary.
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said; “There has been further increases across all key indicators of COVID-19 and the growth rate of the epidemic has accelerated since NPHET last met.
“Cases notified over the past week have increased by 82% compared with the previous 7 days, from 3,514 to 6,382 cases.
“The positivity rate over the past 7 days is now 6.2% and is continuing to increase.”
“The 14-day incidence in those aged 65 years and older has increased from 92.9 per 100,000 population on 7th October to 125 per 100,000 population on the 14th of October.
“The number of hospitalisations are increasing faster than the exponential growth modelling predicted. This indicates a rapidly deteriorating disease trajectory nationally."
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said; “There is now a deteriorating epidemiological landscape across the EU. Many EU countries are experiencing increasing hospitalisations, ICU admissions and deaths related to COVID-19.
“Our priorities remain focused on protecting the medically and socially vulnerable, protecting childcare and education settings and preventing unnecessary disruption to non-COVID health and social care services.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said “The reproduction number appears to have increased and is now at 1.4 nationally. Modelling shows that if current trends continue, by October 31st, the number of cases notified daily would be in the range of 1,800 – 2,500 cases with over 400 people in hospital.”
Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said; “The challenge we have now is much greater than earlier this year, as we are trying to suppress COVID-19 while maintaining our non – COVID services and providing safe environments in our acute settings.
“The higher the community transmission the more difficult it is to protect medically vulnerably people in all heathcare settings. We appeal to everyone to play their part in protecting patients, healthcare workers and frontline services.”
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