LATEST: Kilkenny among 970 new cases of virus as 13 further deaths confirmed, Level 5 lockdown here for two months: Tánaiste
A further 13 people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 970 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
It brings the overall death toll as a result of the virus to 2,171. There has now been 81,228 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 348 are in Dublin, 60 in Limerick, 59 in Cork, 59 in Wexford, 55 in Louth with the remaining 389 cases are spread across 20 other counties, including 26 infections in Kilkenny,
The latest cases were confirmed after the Government earlier today confirmed the country will go into a third lockdown from Chistmas Eve.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the renewed Level 5 restrictions announced to contain Covid-19 are likely to be in place for more than two months, but they are due to be reviewed on January 12.
Mr Varadkar told a press conference: “It will probably be towards the end of February or early March before a critical mass of the population is vaccinated and I think we need to operate on the basis that these restrictions will be in place until then.”
The Tánaiste warned that we were seeing “exponential growth” in the numbers of people infected with the virus which would, “on its current trajectory” see case numbers at 1,000 a day before Christmas and “perhaps 2,000 a day before New Year’s Eve”.
Mr Varadkar said the Government does not yet know if the new strain of the virus is circulating in Ireland, but he added: “We’re operating on the basis that it is.”