Over 20,000 Covid cases for second day
The Omicron variant is leading to dramatic increases in case numbers.
20,110 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Ireland today according to the latest figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
It follows the 20,554 cases announced yesterday - the highest figure recorded in the country in a single day.
The Department of Health says that as of 8am today, 682 patients with Covid-19 are hospitalised, of which 86 are in ICU.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “Once again, we are reporting another very high number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 is continuing to increase.
“I know many people have cancelled or postponed planned social and family events, not just for New Years Eve, but right throughout the Christmas period. The occasions in life we most look forward to have been changed utterly by this pandemic. However, these collective efforts are necessary to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our health service."
Northern Ireland recorded another record number of cases today, with its figure doubling over the past week. 7,215 cases were reported there today.
The CMO says "It is timely today to remember all of those who continue to contribute so much to our response to COVID-19, particularly the individual and collective efforts of our frontline healthcare workers who are now facing into a third year of pandemic response. In the most challenging of circumstances, they continue to work to protect public health and to maintain access to services across all parts of our health service. In the delivery of both COVID and non-COVID services, patients and their families have benefitted from their empathy, skill, and care. January will likely be a difficult time and I would like to thank all of our health care workers most sincerely for their efforts.
“We also remember those who have sadly died with COVID-19 in Ireland since the beginning of this pandemic, along with their families and loved ones who are grieving their loss. We must all remember that it is our collective, national response and the ongoing and extraordinary sacrifices each one of us is making that will break the chains of transmission, minimise the pressure on our health service, ensure that as few families as possible are similarly impacted in 2022 and lead to brighter days ahead."
“2020 was a very challenging year from a COVID point of view. We were dealing with a new disease, with no drugs, no vaccines and no background immunity. In 2021, we saw the emergence of vaccines and the extraordinary response of the scientific community internationally to produce them. As we look to 2022, there are many reasons for cautious optimism. Advances in science and public health including the development of new treatments like antivirals and monoclonal antibodies and the continued evolution of our understanding of this virus give us grounds to hope that 2022 may be a better year from a COVID point of view than either 2020 or 2021.