ANOTHER 157 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Donegal this evening.
There have now been 2,378 cases of the coronavirus recorded in the county in the last 14 days.
Nationally, eight additional deaths and 4,929 new cases were notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre this evening.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “While we are seeing the first glimmer of hope in respect of our daily case figures and positivity rates, the situation in hospitals and ICUs around the country continues to worsen day on day.
“We know that hospitalisations occur some weeks after a confirmed case is notified, and mortality after that again.
“That means we are unfortunately set for a period of time where the situation in our hospitals gets worse before it gets better.
“The best way forward now is for all of us to stay at home. Staying at home and cutting your contacts right down to only those in your immediate household is the one vital way we will protect our healthcare system as it struggles with the burdens brought on by this surge in Covid-19 infections.”
Of the cases notified today: 2,250 are men and 2,641 are women; 59 per cent are under 45 years of age; the median age is 39 years old.
There were 1,513 cases in Dublin, 695 in Cork, 320 in Limerick, 305 in Wexford, 225 in Galway and the remaining 1,871 cases are spread across all other counties.
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group said: “The alarming level of disease is unprecedented in terms of our experience of the levels of Covid-19 in the community.
“We are seeing numbers of cases per day, and numbers in hospital, that we just could not have comprehended prior to Christmas.
“The tools to address this accelerated growth rate are in our hands and we know from experience how we can significantly suppress transmission of the virus.
“We are beginning to see the first signs of the impact of the latest public health measures, with test positivity falling and case numbers starting to stabilise, but this will only continue if every one of us is committed to following the public health advice to stay at home and work from home as much as possible.
“This is vital in order to make significant headway over the next 7 days and to reduce the pressure on our health services and healthcare colleagues.”
Earlier today, 16 more deaths and 759 new cases were reported in Northern Ireland.
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill says Northern Ireland is currently experiencing its pandemic worst case scenario as predictions about the potential pressures the region’s health service could face come true.