THERE HAS been more than a 90% reduction in the number of fatalities in Ireland's second wave of coronavirus compared with the first.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly confirmed the impressive figures at the final report of the Special Committee on Covid-19 on Thursday.
"We're seeing a more than 90% reduction in fatalities in the second wave compared to the first wave," he said.
"So for every 100 people who died in the first wave, less than 10 have died this time. By any measure that's an extraordinary improvement."
Minister Donnelly commended health workers for their efforts throughout the pandemic, and pointed to a number of European states which have seen their health services overwhelmed during the second wave.
"That is why the Government took extensive measures throughout this pandemic to limit transmission of the virus when it was required - to ensure we protected lives and did not have a situation where our hospitals and intensive care units would become overrun," he added.
Nearly two million Covid-19 tests have been carried out in Ireland since the outbreak of the pandemic, and Mr Donnelly suggested that the country now has the capacity to perform around 140,000 tests per week.
The Republic is currently entering week five of its second full lockdown, which is due to end on December 1.
While infection rates have been dropping throughout the country in recent weeks, that decline has reportedly been stagnating, according to NPHET, who have urged the public not to lose focus in the fight against the virus as we approach Christmas.