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Clare’s 14 day incidence rate of COVID-19 at an all-time high with 649 cases in 48 hours

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Clare has recorded 649 new cases of COVID-19 in a twenty four hour period.

On Friday evening, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) outlined that 253 new cases of the virus had been diagnosed in Co Clare with a total of 8,248 nationally.

Provisional data had stated that there were 254 new cases on Thursday but following validation by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), this figure has jumped to 406.

Subsequently the county’s 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population is now at an all-time high of 1121.1 and is the eighth highest in the country. The figure has exceeded the national rate of 1087.7

Elsewhere, 3,013 cases are in Dublin, 1,374 in Cork, 538 in Limerick, 314 in Kildare, 310 in Donegal and the remaining 2,466 cases are spread across all other counties.

A further 20 deaths have been notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). Since March, 2,327 persons have died from the virus. The figure of 20 is the highest amount of COVID-19 deaths reported in a single day during the pandemic.

As of 2pm on Friday, there were 109 persons in critical care as a result of the virus, a further 1,071 people were in hospitals. Over the past 24 hours, 116 hospitalisations were recorded.

Three cases of a variant recently identified in South Africa have been confirmed in Ireland on Friday by genome sequencing, the Chief Medical Officer stated.

Dr Tony Holohan outlined, “All of the cases identified are directly associated with recent travel from South Africa. Anyone who has travelled from South Africa recently is advised to self-isolate for 14 days and identify themselves through a GP for testing as soon as possible. We are particularly advising healthcare workers travelling from South Africa, that it is essential that they self-isolate for 14 days before entering/re-entering the workplace. While this variant has not yet been identified in many European countries we believe the identification here reflects the extent of genome sequencing surveillance in Ireland”.

Preliminary analysis from the ECDC indicated that the South African variant was associated with “a heightened viral load and may have increased transmissibility. It also states that there is no evidence to date that this variant is associated with higher severity of infection,” Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory noted.

De Gascun added, “There is currently not enough information available to determine whether this variant poses a possible risk related to vaccine match and effectiveness. The antigenic characterisation of this new variant is ongoing, and results are expected in the coming weeks”.

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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