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‘A long way to go in bringing disease under control’ – 124 new COVID-19 cases in Clare

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*Photograph: Sean Curtin / True Media

Clare has recorded 124 new cases of COVID-19 on a day when 28 additional deaths from the virus have been announced.

A record high 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population of 1578.1 is now prevalent in Co Clare, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) have stated. On top of this, 124 new cases have been diagnosed in the county.

Across the country, there are 3,955 new cases. 1,210 are in Dublin, 456 in Cork, 235 in Louth, 221 in Meath, 218 in Limerick, and the remaining 1,491 cases are spread across all other counties.

Of the 28 deaths announced, 26 occurred in the month of January, the date of death for 2 of these reported death remains under investigation. The increase in daily deaths announced was labelled “serious” by Professor Philip Nolan.

Data from 2pm on Thursday highlighted that 169 persons were in critical care, this number is included in the 1,789 currently in Irish hospitals. A total of 154 hospitalisations were recorded over the past 24 hours.

“There is a long way to go in bringing this disease under control,” Professor Nolan stated at Thursday’s press briefing. 1 in 67 people in the country have been deemed COVID-19 positive in the last fourteen days, he said. A “significant” number of a variety of settings recording outbreaks has been reported, Nolan revealed.

So far in January, 208 persons have died from Coronavirus. Further information on these individuals were provided by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. 38 outbreaks are from nursing homes and 23 are linked to outbreaks in hospitals. The ages of those vary from 25 to 98 years old.

Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, Professor Nolan outlined that the third wave is “perhaps worse” from an epidemiological perspective than previous spikes of the virus. “What we are seeing in this wave is different to what we have seen since springtime, and perhaps worse. The penetration of the virus throughout all ages of the population is a particular cause for serious concern, as is risk of severe disease that all of these people face. Poor health outcomes, risk of serious or long-term illness and hospitalisation remain a risk for us all when it comes to COVID-19”.

Multiple different SARS CoV-2 lineages have been identified in Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic, Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory confirmed. “Two of the three recently emerged variants of concern from the UK and South Africa. We also expect that more variants will emerge across the world in the coming months. While some of the new variants will increase the risk of becoming infected because they have increased transmissibility – they can stick longer and better to surfaces – this does not mean that our continued adherence to the public health advice is in anyway less effective. We must continue to wash our hands, wear a face covering where appropriate, maintain our social distance and continue to adhere to the public health advice.”

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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