Another 50 deaths from Covid-19

Another 50 people diagnosed with Covid-19 have died.

The Department of Health has said has also reported 3,498 more cases of the coronavirus.

Overall there have been 2,536 Covid-related deaths since the outbreak began, and 166,548 cases.

The latest figures show there are 1,850 people who have tested positive for the virus in hospitals, with 184 of these receiving treatment in intensive care units.

In Meath, the Laytown/Bettystown area has the highest rate of infection with 608 new cases in the fortnight up to last Monday and an infection rate of 1781.9 per 100,000 of population.

This was considerably that the national average for that period of 1,410.3

The Ashbourne area had 416 new cases and a rate of 1.440 per 100,000, while Ratoath has 385 cases and a rate of 1155.5.

Kells had 299 cases and a rate of 922.9, while Trim had 884.4 new cases and a rate of 884.8 and Navan had 278 cases and an incidence rate of 795.9.

Meanwhile there have been 118 hospitalisations in the last 24 hours.

54 per cent of the cases announced today involve people under the age of 45.

1,182 of the cases are in Dublin, with 421 in Cork, 258 in Limerick, 187 in Galway and 164 in Waterford. The remaining 1,286 cases are spread across all other counties.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, has said new variants of Covid-19 have been identified in Brazil recently, and in travellers to Japan from Brazil.

He said there is no evidence of these variants in Ireland, but anyone who has travelled from Brazil in the last 14 days is advised to self-isolate for 14 days, from the date of their arrival in Ireland, and identify themselves, through a GP, for testing.

"It is essential that anyone arriving from Brazil self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival before entering/re-entering the workplace, " Dr Holohan said.

"We are particularly appealing to employers to enable their employees to protect each other by staying at home for the full 14 days."

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, has urged people to keep their close contacts to a minimum.

Dr Gynn said the number of close contacts per confirmed case has fallen from six at the end of December to 2.3 now.

"This enormous effort is the reason we are seeing case numbers beginning to fall," he said.

"We know that it is extremely difficult to keep our close contacts to a minimum, particularly over an extended period of time but this is the main way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19."

More from this Topic