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Close contacts dropping & Clare records 52 new COVID-19 cases

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*Photograph: Sean Curtin / True Media

52 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Co Clare among the 3,498 nationally while a further 50 people have died.

On Friday evening, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) stated that 52 further cases of the virus were diagnosed in Clare. This brings the 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population to 1621.8.

Nationally, 3,498 new cases are known. 1,182 are in Dublin, 421 in Cork, 258 in Limerick, 187 in Galway, 164 in Waterford, and the remaining 1,286 cases are spread across all other counties.

An additional 50 deaths have been recorded bringing the country’s death toll to 2,536. All 50 deaths occurred in the month of January, the median age of these persons was 82 years old while the ages ranged from 45 to 96.

As of 2pm on Friday, 184 individuals were receiving critical care because of the virus, these are among the 1,850 persons in hospitals. 118 new hospitalisations were observed in the last 24 hours.

There have been a total 77,303 first doses of the vaccine administered across the country, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre have outlined.

No evidence of the new variants discovered in Brazil have been identified in Ireland, the Chief Medical Officer confirmed. “Anyone who has travelled from Brazil in the last 14 days is advised to self-isolate for 14 days, from the date of arrival, and identify themselves, through a GP, for testing as soon as possible It is essential that anyone arriving from Brazil self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival before entering/re-entering the workplace. We are particularly appealing to employers to enable their employees to protect each other by staying at home for the full 14 days,” he advised.

Dr Tony Holohan added, “Further risk assessment of the new variants is expected from the ECDC in the coming week. We must all continue to adhere to every element of the public health advice. This remains our best defence against COVID-19”.

“Exceptionally” hard work in recent weeks to reduce the amount of close contacts has been visible, Dr Ronan Glynn noted. “At the end of December, the number of close contacts per confirmed case peaked at approximately 6. That has now dropped to 2.3 contacts. This enormous effort is the reason we are seeing case numbers beginning to fall,” the Deputy Chief Medical Officer stated.

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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