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09 Dec 2021

Covid update: Highest number of cases reported since January

Covid update:

Leitrim's Covid-19 update

The Department of Health has this evening been notified of 3,726 new cases of Covid-19, which is the highest number reported since mid January of this year.

The number of people with the virus in hospital is 493, a drop of 22 from yesterday.

Of those, 90 are in ICU, which is down one from yesterday.

It's unclear whether today's case number includes a backlog of some reported cases. The increase is not unexpected and had been predicted by public health experts.

In a statement, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said Covid-19 is circulating widely in the community, but they have the tools to limit its spread.

"We know that vaccination is very successful at preventing severe illness and hospitalisation and I urge anyone who still needs to get their Covid vaccine to do so.

"We also know that, even when vaccinated, we still need to practice basic public health interventions - washing our hands, opening windows, wearing masks and most importantly, staying home when we have symptoms.

"These simple measures are very successful at breaking the chains of transmission of this disease.

"As we practice all elements of the public health advice, we keep ourselves, and our communities safe."

In the Dáil earlier today, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly described the situation as serious and said hospitals were becoming "fuller."

The minister told the Dáil that "we have to be concerned that things will deteriorate further" as he proposed extending emergency legislation providing for face masks, Covid-19 passes, enforcement powers and fixed penalty notices.

The laws were due to expire on 9 November, but Mr Donnelly proposed extending them for another three months until 9 February, and he urged TDs to back the motion.

The Dáil will vote on this tomorrow night.

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