Case numbers likely to double every 10 to 14 days

There are growing concerns that admissions could escalate rapidly to the point where healthcare facilities will be under unsustainable pressure

FIVE new cases of Covid-19 have been notified in Kerry since midnight last night to add to the eight cases that were confirmed in the county yesterday.

Today’s cases will not be officially added until the county-by-county figures are updated tomorrow but the number of known infections in Kerry to date currently stands at 357.

Thee more people have died and 254 additional cases of coronavirus have been reported this Wednesday and senior public health officials have said they are more concerned now than they have been for months.

There have now been 1,788 Covid-19 related fatalities and 31,799 confirmed cases.

Of the cases notified today, 133 are female and 115 are male with 65 per cent under the age of 45.

Dr Ronan Glynn: Absolutely essential to heed public health advice

61 per cent are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a previously confirmed case and 24 cases have been identified as community transmission

136 are in Dublin, 20 in Donegal, 13 in Louth, 12 in Wicklow, nine in Waterford, seven in Carlow, seven in Cork, six in Galway, five in Kerry and five in Wexford with the remaining 28 cases located in Clare, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath.

Dublin now has a 14-day incidence rate of 104 cases of the virus per 100,000 people, which is twice the national average of 53, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said the situation has deteriorated both in Dublin and nationally over the past week.

“It is now absolutely essential that people action public health advice and act as if they or those close to them are potentially infectious,” he insisted.

Case numbers are likely to double every 10 to 14 days

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group said he is more concerned at this point than at any time since last April.

“The reproduction number is between 1.3 and 1.7 nationally. Case numbers appear to be growing exponentially and are likely to double every 10 to 14 days if every one of us does not immediately act to break chains of transmission of the virus,” he warned.

“If we do not interrupt transmission now, bringing the R-number back to below one, modelling shows that we could have 500 to 1,000 cases per day by October 16 and 50-60 per cent would be in Dublin,” Professor Nolan stated.

There are currently 73 Covid-19 patients in hospital with nine admitted in the past 24 hours and 14 in intensive care units.

Concerns are escalating that admissions could escalate rapidly to the point where healthcare facilities will be under unsustainable pressure.

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