FOR the first day in months, no new case of Covid-19 was notified in Kerry today.
It was a very good Ash Wednesday boost for the county where new infection numbers have been falling with less than five cases of the virus reported each day over the past five days.
Encouragingly, Kerry has by far the lowest 14-day covid-19 incidence rate in the country with 83.3 cases per 100,000 population in the past fortnight.
Leitrim was the only other county to have zero cases notified in the past 24 hours.
Nationally today, there were 57 further deaths reported and 650 newly diagnosed cases confirmed, bringing the death toll to beyond the 4,000 mark for the first time.
The number of fatalities since the outset of the pandemic now stands at 4,036 with 211,751 known cases.
34 of the deaths occurred this month, 21 date back to January, one occurred in December and one in November.
Early this morning, 831 patients with the coronavirus were in hospital with 154 in intensive care and there have been 49 patients admitted due to the virus in the past 24 hours.
Of the cases notified today, 325 are male and 323 are female with 65 per cent under 45 years of age. The median age of those affected is 37.
192 of the newly diagnosed cases are in Dublin, 53 in Galway, 50 in Meath, 46 in Kildare and 46 in Cork with the remaining 263 cases spread across 19 other counties.
Despite the encouraging news in Kerry, Department of Health Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said although great progress has been made, the situation remains precarious.
“Almost 90 per cent of cases in Ireland are the B117 variant. The increased transmissibility of this variant is apparent in the current profile of the disease in households, with one in three household contacts of a confirmed case testing positive,” he said.
“This underlines the need for people to exercise caution in households and other settings. In particular, people should isolate immediately on experiencing any symptoms and contact their GP.”
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