The Department of Health expects high coronavirus case numbers in the next ten days, as a result of fewer people coming forward for testing over the Christmas period.
It comes as 58 new cases of the virus have been confirmed locally in latest figures from NPHET.
Carlow and Kilkenny have each recorded 29 new positive test results- they’re among the 1,620 new cases that were confirmed nationwide yesterday (Thursday) evening.
16 patients at the local St Luke’s Hospital are currently being treated for the virus, while there are also four suspected cases.
Professor Philip Nolan says that if the reproduction rates remain high we could see up to 3,000 cases a day by the end of this month;
“The reproduction number is currently 1.6 to 1.8” he explains. “If we only get that down to 1.4, we’ll be looking at 2,000 cases per day by the 9th January and 3,000 cases per day by the 23rd January, If we get the reproduction number down, but not enough, say to 1.1, we’ll be looking at 1,800 cases a day by the 6th January, and close to 2,000 cases a day by the end of January.”