Donegal has surpassed Dublin to become the county with the highest 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of Covid-19.
Donegal recorded a rate of 148.2 on Thursday as Level Three restrictions were announced for the county by Taoiseach Micheál Martin and acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn.
In the past two weeks, only six counties have noted a decline in their number of cases recorded on September 11th, with Tipperary showing the biggest downward trend with a 40 per cent decrease. Similar falls in cases were also reported in Leitrim, Limerick and Longford, according to data from the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre (HPSC), while Kilkenny and Wexford’s rates also came down.
Unsurprisingly, Donegal had the largest percentage increase in cases in the same two-week period, with a 538 per cent increase, followed by Cork with a 445 per cent jump.
Additional restrictions for other counties have not been ruled out, with Dr Glynn warning of possible escalations in Cork, Louth, Waterford, Wicklow, Kildare and Galway.
People in these counties have been urged to follow public health advice to combat the spread of the virus in their communities and potentially halt the need for further restrictions.
The sharp increase in the number of cases being recorded daily since mid-August has become a real concern for Government and public health officials, who are worried that the healthcare system may not be able to cope with another surge of the virus in conjunction with the annual winter-flu season. The Government has announced plans for wide-spread roll-out of the flu infection in an attempt to ease demand on healthcare services, while 251 additional acute care hospital beds have been promised this year under the new HSE winter plan.
Despite a rapid increase in cases, the death rate of the virus has remained low in recent weeks, but health officials have warned that if Covid-19 continues to spread through communities, the death toll will spike also.
According to the HPSC, on September 23rd there were 114 people hospitalised due to Covid-19, 13 of whom required care in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).Speaking earlier this week, the HSE’s chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said there are currently 278 ICU beds in the Republic.
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