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Covid19 hospitalisations are increasing ‘earlier and faster’ in the third wave compared to the second according to Professor Philip Nolan

The chair of NPHET's modeling group is urging people to cut their contacts

NPHET says Covid19 hospitalisations are increasing ‘earlier and faster’ in the third wave compared to the second.

Professor Philip Nolan, who chairs its modeling group, is urging people to cut their contacts to protect each other and the health service.

There are 360 people in hospital with Covid today, compared to 354 during the peak of the second wave in October.

20 patients with the virus were being treated in St Luke’s Hospital for Carlow and Kilkenny last night, with four in critical care – the highest in any such unit in the country. There are also two further suspected cases at the local facility.

It’s as less than five new cases were confirmed in both Carlow & Kilkenny last evening.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin is urging the public to redouble their efforts:


A 79 year old Dublin woman will become the first person in Ireland to be vaccinated against Covid-19 today.

Grandmother of 10, Annie, will receive the vaccine at St James Hospital.

Vaccines will also be administered in Beaumont, Cork and Galway university hospitals today.

Just under 10 thousand vaccines have already arrived in the country, with a delivery of a further 30 thousand due this afternoon.

Chair of the Covid19 vaccination taskforce, Brian MacCraith, says Annie is delighted to be the first person in Ireland to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the Irish College Of General Practitioners says it’s important to start vaccinations “small and slow”.

The ICGP’s Lead Covid-19 advisor, Dr Nuala O’Connor, says patient safety is utmost.

Contact Tracing

The HSE chief executive says an increasing number of people are not answering calls from Covid-19 contact-tracers.

Paul Reid says it’s a ‘concerning trend’ because they are a valuable resource to protect people against the virus.

Contact-tracers identify people who were in close contact with someone who has Covid.

765 cases of the virus were confirmed yesterday, but fewer tests were carried in the days around Christmas.

The Irish College Of General Practitioners’ Covid Lead, Dr Nuala O’Connor, says GP out of hours services have been very busy.


Alone says it hopes older people can begin to re-engage with society in the coming weeks as the Covid19 vaccine is rolled out.

The charity says it received “a steady stream” of calls to its national helpline over Christmas, and it delivered 700 dinners on Christmas Day.

The support line is open seven days a week and will remain open over the holiday period.

Chief executive of Alone, Sean Moynihan, says it’s been a very tough year for older people.

The UK

In the UK, there are now more Covid19 patients in England’s hospitals than the peak of the first wave in April.

NHS England’s chief executive says frontline workers are “back in the eye of the storm” as cases of a new variant of coronavirus continue to rise.

The UK hit a new high for daily cases yesterday, at just under 41,500.

Simon Stevens has used his New Year message to thank everyone in the health service for their efforts this year.

In India

Six cases of the new UK variant of coronavirus have been detected in India for the first time.

They’d all returned from Britain in recent weeks and have been told to self-isolate, with their close contacts also put in quarantine.

The new variant is thought to be behind the surge in cases here.

In Russia

Russia’s admitted the number of people to have died with coronavirus in the country is three times higher than previously reported.

Figures show deaths have topped 186,000, up from the 55,000 it officially claimed.

It now has the third-highest number of fatalities, behind the US and Brazil.

There’ve been more than three-million Covid19 infections in Russia.