There have been five further deaths of people with Covid-19 and 456 new cases of the virus confirmed by the Department of Health today.
his comes as a second possible Covid-19 vaccine, produced by Moderna, appears to be 95pc effective against the virus.
Ireland is expected to receive approximately 1.6m doses of the vaccine, pending authorisation from the EU.
There have also been 14 additional deaths and a further 331 new cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland today.
There have been 105 new cases in Dublin, 85 in Limerick, 43 in Cork, 38 in Meath, 25 in Clare and the remaining 160 cases are spread across 21 other counties.
Of the cases notified today; 199 are in men and 257 in women; 69pc are under 45 years of age and the median age is 34 years old.
As of 2pm today, there were 274 Covid-19 patients hospitalised, of which 33 are in ICU. There have been 10 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has said the recent positive trajectory has “at best stalled and according to a number of indicators is deteriorating.”
Dr Glynn added: “We really have a short period of time in which to turn this around. We’ve two weeks until December 1, and I would implore people to focus on the basics. What dictates the course of this disease is what we do as families and as individuals.”
On the proposed ban on takeaway pints, and the gatherings seen in Dublin and Cork over the weekend, Dr Glynn said: “Yeah, behaviour like that isn’t just frustrating for us, it is literally frustrating to the millions of people in this country who are doing the right thing. It’s frustrating for business owners that have been affected and it’s frustrating for healthcare workers. I think it is particularly frustrating for elderly people and those with medical conditions who are cocooning.
“These people have isolated for weeks and months now and to look at examples of this behaviour on social media must be particularly frustrating.”
Any gathering tends to result in people letting their guard down, Dr Glynn says.
“People are going to funerals and family and social gatherings and they may feel well in themselves but unfortunately some of them are transmitting the virus,” Dr Glynn says.
The Deputy CMO points out that there have been a number of outbreaks linked to funerals recently.
“The news is promising and it should give people hope. But, it is that at best at the moment. We need to wait for the full data and assess the full data and ensure the vaccines are effective, do what they are supposed to and that they are safe,” Dr Glynn said.
Donegal remains the county with the highest incidence rate in the country at 269.5, which is over double the national average at 120.
Limerick has seen a large spike in cases today with 81 cases confirmed in the county today, second only to Dublin. University Hospital Limerick has had a recent outbreak that results in over 160 staff isolating due to potential exposure to the virus.
Dr Glynn says that Nphet are not contemplating measures from December 1 at the moment.
“One of the biggest single detriments to our progress is the focus on where we might be in six weeks’ time. We need to focus on today and tomorrow.
“We have no idea where we will be in two weeks’ time at this point. It could get much better or it could get much worse,” Dr Glynn said.
Dr Glynn points out that along with daily case numbers, five-day averages are also going in the wrong direction.
“The positive trajectory has stalled and as people will be aware, we need to get to a much better place than this by December 1. We were hoping to get to 100 cases a day; we are nowhere near that at the moment.”
Dr Glynn says there are two large outbreaks in Limerick, one linked with UHL and another linked with student activity.
The Deputy CMO says there has been outbreaks in wide arrays of workplaces in recent times such as construction sites and food plants.
Over 600,000 surplus flu vaccines have been administered or are set to be administered to children under 12, Nphet revealed.
Dr Glynn says he is “confident” that most Irish people living abroad will heed the public health advice and will not come home for Christmas this year, “as hard as it is.”
Source: Irish News