Public health officials now ‘very concerned’

Thirty nine new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Kerry today

ON a day when 39 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Kerry – bringing the total number of infections in the county to 656 – senior public health officials have expressed concern that the virus is accelerating in all age groups.

The 39 cases flagged today added to the 14 notified yesterday, nine on Tuesday and 50 on Monday bring the number of newly confirmed infections in Kerry to well over 100 in just four days.

Nationally today, a further three deaths were reported bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,838.

Al alarming 1,205 new cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours and that sends the total number since the outset of the pandemic rocketing to 46,429, even after the denotification of 19 cases.

288 of today’s cases are in Dublin, 173 Cork, 123 in Meath, 97 in Galway and 63 in Cavan with the remaining 461 cases are spread across all remaining counties, including Kerry.

As of 2.00pm today, 241 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, of which 29 were in intensive care. There have been 24 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Department of Health Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said there have been further increases across all key indicators of Covid-19 and the growth rate of the epidemic has accelerated since NPHET last met.

“Cases notified over the past week have increased by 82 per cent compared with the previous seven days, from 3,514 to 6,382 cases,” he said.

“The positivity rate over the past seven days is now 6.2 per cent and it is continuing to increase,” he added

The 14-day incidence in those aged 65 years and older has increased from 92.9 per 100,000 population on October 7 to 125 per 100,000 population on October 14.

“The number of hospitalisations are increasing faster than the exponential growth modelling predicted. This indicates a rapidly deteriorating disease trajectory nationally,” Dr Holohan stressed.

Dr Ronan Glynn: Concerned about the increases

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said there is now a deteriorating epidemiological landscape across the EU with many countries experiencing increasing hospitalisations, ICU admissions and deaths related to Covid-19.

“Our priorities remain focused on protecting the medically and socially vulnerable, protecting childcare and education settings and preventing unnecessary disruption to non-Covid health and social care services,” he remarked.

Dr Glynn added: “Clearly, we are very concerned”.

The reproduction number has increased and is now at 1.4 nationally. Modelling shows that if current trends continue, by October 31, the number of cases notified daily would be in the range of 1,800 to 2,500 cases with over 400 people in hospital.

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer with the HSE, stated: “The challenge we have now is much greater than earlier this year, as we are trying to suppress Covid-19 while maintaining our non-Covid services and providing safe environments in our acute settings.

“The higher the community transmission the more difficult it is to protect medically vulnerably people in all heathcare settings. We appeal to everyone to play their part in protecting patients, healthcare workers and frontline services,” he added.

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