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National spread of COVID-19 ‘of grave concern’ as Clare records less than five new cases

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Less than five of the 970 new cases of COVID-19 are located in Co Clare.

On Tuesday evening, the Department of Health announced 970 cases had been diagnosed across the country. 348 are in Dublin, 60 in Limerick, 59 in Cork, 59 in Wexford, 55 in Louth and the remaining 389 cases are spread across 20 other counties. 

After recording nine new cases 24 hours ago, the figures in Clare have reduced to less than five.

The county’s 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population is at 34.5 compared with the national figure of 138.2.

An additional 13 deaths have been notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Over the last 24 hours, there were 23 hospitalisations associated with the virus. 

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan described the  current trajectory of the disease in the community as one of “grave concern”. 

Cases up to midnight on Monday represented a 110% increase. “In the last 5 days, we have seen extraordinary growth in the incidence of the virus across the country, significantly increasing the level of risk associated with the kind of inter-generational mixing that is normally experienced over the Christmas holidays. To protect ourselves, our families and our vulnerable loved ones in particular, further economic and social restrictions will begin to be introduced from Christmas Eve. It is up to each one of us to rethink our plans for this Christmas period, especially when it comes to visiting older or more medically vulnerable family members and friends.

“With the authorisation of the first COVID-19 vaccine by the European Commission yesterday, our national vaccine programme can begin in the very near future and this gives us cause for hope. However, widespread vaccination of the population will take time, so we need to continue to adhere to the public health advice on hand washing, keeping 2m distance, wearing face coverings where appropriate, covering our coughs and reducing our social contacts for the duration of the Level 5 restrictions. By working together we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard our schools and our hospitals,” Holohan added. 

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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