IRELAND HAS hit a sombre milestone in its battle against Covid-19 as the highest-ever death toll was announced yesterday evening.
Announced at a public health press briefing yesterday, 19 January, the National Public Health Emergency Team revealed that a further 93 people had lost their lives to the virus.
Of those deaths, 3 occurred in December and 89 occurred in January; the date of one is currently under investigation. Those who died were aged between 45 and 99.
It is by far the most deaths announced in a single day since the coronavirus hit Irish shores last March; the previous peak was in April of last year, when 77 deaths were announced.
The number of new cases has dropped significantly since the peak of close to 10,000 after Christmas, but the 2,001 cases announced yesterday is still far too high, experts have warned.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, appeals for people to stick to the restrictions and save lives.
"While we are starting to see the early results of our collective efforts to minimise the transmission of the virus, we are very sadly reporting an additional 93 deaths today. We cannot afford to drop our guard against the very high levels of infection that remain in the community at present.
"COVID-19 ICU and hospitalisation numbers are of critical concern to us, representing a very significant pressure on our healthcare workers and on the provision of acute medical and surgical non-COVID care. We need everyone to stay at home, other than for essential reasons.
"The more that each individual follows this advice in their everyday lives, the more we can drive down the spread of COVID-19 and minimise the impact on vital healthcare services, patients and frontline workers."
There have now been 2,708 Coronavirus-related deaths, and 176,839 cases in the Republic following the denotification of five cases.
As of 2pm yesterday, 1,949 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, of which 202 were in ICU at 11am. There were 100 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.