Fewer than five new cases of Covid-19 in Meath today

There has been a dramatic fall off in the number of new cases of Covid-19 in Meath today with health officials reporting fewer than five new cases.

The good news comes at the end of a two weeks period in which Meath had 281 new cases.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) reported four additional deaths among people with COVID-19 in Ireland today along with 545 additional cases of the virus.

There have been 4,903 deaths of people with Covid-19 in Ireland and 248,870 confirmed cases.

As of 8am today (Friday), 139 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 44 are in ICU. There have been eight additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

In the fortnight up to last Monday, Navan had a very high incidence rate of the virus. There had been 82 new cases in the Navan electoral area and an incidence rate of 234.7 per 100,000 nearly twice the national average of 122.5.

Kells with 30 new cases and a rate of 92.6 and Ratoath with 35 cases and a rate of 105 are the only two Meath local areas below the national average.

Trim had 40 cases and a rate of 128.2, Ashbourne had 44 cases and a rate of 151.3 and Laytown/Bettystown had 51 cases and a rate of 149.5.

Meanwhile, 1,487,043 doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been administered in Ireland as of Wednesday - 1,067,378 people have received their first dose and 419,665 people have received their second dose.

Of the cases notified today:

294 are men and 244 are women

77% are under 45 years of age

the median age is 29 years old

264 are in Dublin, 58 in Kildare, 50 in Cork, 29 in Donegal, 28 in Galway and the remaining 116 cases are spread across 21 other counties

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, the Department of Health said:

"The easing of restrictions is a welcome and deserved turning point in our collective efforts to get through this pandemic. It is a step closer towards the shared national goal of suppressing COVID-19 and protecting the vulnerable.

"However, incidence around the country varies. Some areas are in a more precarious position than others. For example, while the national incidence rate is 125 per 100,000, Donegal currently stands at 295 per 100,000. This is extremely concerning for public health doctors locally.

"We are calling on community leaders in areas such as Donegal, where the virus is still circulating at dangerous levels, to encourage the people there to stick with the public health measures, especially if they are vulnerable or have yet to be vaccinated."

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