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Eight new cases confirmed in Kilkenny, as 226 people test positive nationwide

Carlow has recorded less than 5 cases in latest figures

There’s been eight new cases of Covid-19 in Kilkenny in the past 24 hours, with the national figure down to 226.

Six more deaths have also been confirmed this evening.

Kilkenny’s figures had shot up to 21 yesterday, but are now back to tallies comparable with the last couple of weeks.

The county’s 14-day incidence rate is now 108 per 100,000 population – the same as the national average.

Carlow has recorded less than five cases in latest figures, with a fortnightly infection rate of 79.

It comes as the Tánaiste has warned that a third lockdown may be needed in January following Christmas celebrations.

Leo Varadkar claims the government will have to avoid the risk of a third wave being caused by socializing over the festive period.

Cabinet Ministers will meet again on Thursday or Friday to finalise the plans for the next month.

Tánaiste Varadkar has said that while restrictions should be eased next week, they also shouldn’t go too far:

“I believe we should seek to ease restrictions next week, but not so much that it requires us to return to Level 4 or 5 for a prolonged period in the New Year” he explained. “A short period of enhanced restrictions may well be necessary in January or February, but we should try to avoid it being a prolonged one.”