Nphet confirms highest daily increase in Covid-19 deaths in two weeks

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has confirmed 631 new cases of Covid-19 and 47 additional deaths, the largest daily increase since February 24th.

Fourteen of the deaths confirmed today occurred in March, 18 in February and 15 in January.

Of today’s cases, 317 were men, 308 were women and 74 per cent were under the age of 45.

Dublin recorded 247 new cases, while there were 50 in Kildare, 44 in Meath, 41 in Cork and 32 in Limerick. The remaining 217 cases were spread across 20 other counties.

As of 8am this morning, there were 370 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, 92 of whom were in intensive care.

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As of March 7th, 525,768 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the State, including 375,521 first doses and 150,247 second doses.

Ireland’s 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 is now 162.5, while the five-day moving average is 488 cases.

Potential easing

Despite improvements in the incidence of the virus, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned the country must not let its guard down quickly, saying any easing of restrictions next month will be modest.

Current Level 5 measures are set to remain until April 5th, after which time Mr Martin said any changes made will stay in effect until mid-May.

It is thought construction will be permitted to reopen as part of the easing, while the 5km limit may also be lifted, and people may be allowed to meet in small groups outdoors.

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Government fails to secure extra Covid-19 vaccines…

The Taoiseach also confirmed details of an EU deal with vaccine makers Pfizer today, which will see them deliver an additional 4 million doses to EU countries.

Ireland will receive an additional 46,500 doses before the end of March as each country’s allocation is based on population.

This comes after numerous attempts by the Government to secure additional vaccines from other sources have reportedly failed.

The Government asked EU member states and the UK for surplus vaccines, while they are also reported to have attempted to convince Pfizer and Merck to manufacture vaccines in their Cork and Carlow plants to increase supply.

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