LATEST: 51 new cases of virus confirmed in Kilkenny, first vaccines due in Ireland this Saturday
There has been no further coronavirus related deaths but 727 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
It brings the overall death toll as a result of the virus to 2,158. There has now been 80,267 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country, according to the latest daily briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
The breakdown of the latest cases is as follows: 311 are in Dublin, 51 in Kilkenny, 48 in Wexford, 44 in Donegal, 44 in Cork with the remaining 229 cases are spread across 19 other counties.
Commenting on the latest figures, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “Our current disease trends are gravely concerning. The situation has deteriorated rapidly in recent days. A total of 3,837 cases have been notified in the past 7 days. The five day rolling average has increased from 339 on 17th December to 616 on 21st December, an 82% increase. It is now as important as it was back in March to limit your contacts and protect your loved ones.”
The latest cases were confirmed as it emerged that the first Covid-19 vaccines could arrive in Ireland by as early as this Saturday.
The first consignment of just under 10,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are due to be transported from Belgium to Dublin for St Stephen’s Day. It means that the first vaccinations could be administered early next week.
The EU wants vaccinations to be rolled out across the EU from December 27 , 28 or 29.
People over 65 in long-term care and frontline health workers will be offered the vaccines first.