The number of cases of Covid-19 in Carlow rose by 44 as 50 more fatalities were announced nationally.
There were 3,498 cases reported in Ireland on Friday evening as the country’s hospitals reported the highest number of patients being treated for the pandemic.
All 50 deaths occurred in January 2021. The median age of those who died was 82 years, and the age range was 45-96 years.
As of 2pm today, 1,850 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised of which184 are in ICU. 118 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
There have now been 948 cases in Carlow in the last two weeks.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “New variants of Covid-19 have recently been identified in Brazil, and in travellers to Japan from Brazil. There is no evidence of these variants in Ireland.”
“Anyone who has travelled from Brazil in the last 14 days is advised to self-isolate for 14 days, from the date of arrival, and identify themselves, through a GP, for testing as soon as possible.”
“It is essential that anyone arriving from Brazil self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival before entering/re-entering the workplace. We are particularly appealing to employers to enable their employees to protect each other by staying at home for the full 14 days.”
“Further risk assessment of the new variants is expected from the ECDC in the coming week. We must all continue to adhere to every element of the public health advice. This remains our best defence against Covid-19.”
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “We have worked exceptionally hard in recent weeks to reduce our close contacts. At the end of December, the number of close contacts per confirmed case peaked at approximately 6. That has now dropped to 2.3 contacts. This enormous effort is the reason we are seeing case numbers beginning to fall.”
“We know that it is extremely difficult to keep our close contacts to a minimum, particularly over an extended period of time. But this is the main way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19. Again today, we are reporting the highest number of people with COVID-19 to date in our hospitals. We must stay home to protect ourselves and each other.”