Ireland's Covid-19 rate now the highest in the world

New Covid-19 test centre in Donegal Town

Ireland is most Covid-19-infected country in the world in the past week

There's a huge increase this evening in the number of new Covid-19 cases in Galway and Mayo.

Fears are growing that January will bring a grim death toll from coronavirus as 46 Covid-19 related fatalities were reported yesterday while hospitals struggled with a rising tide of patients struck by the disease.

Nolan said hospitalisations look set to peak at between 2,200 and 2,500 people, while critical care admissions grew at a faster rate to leave just 38 of Ireland's 292 critical care beds empty as others are turned into makeshift intensive care units.

The recent rise in the number of cases has been put down to a festive season increase in socialising and the influence of the easily transmissible United Kingdom variant of the disease.

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The next highest country is the Czech Republic (Czechia), which is reporting around 121 cases per capita each day.

IRELAND'S DAILY Covid-19 infection rate is the worst in the world, new figures have confirmed.

270 of the new cases are local- with 163 in Kilkenny and 107 in Carlow.

As of 2pm today, 1,293 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 119 are in ICU.

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Earlier on Tuesday, the Northern Ireland Department of Health reported that a further 1,205 individuals have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

Attributing the rise in deaths to "unsustainably" high levels of infection, Dr Holohan called on people to stay home "out of respect for those who have lost their lives" or were in hospital.

Some 40% of Ireland's most recent positive cases of COVID-19 are caused by the more contagious United Kingdom variant, said Cillian De Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, in a statement on Monday. This afternoon, Paul Reid of the HSE tweeted to say that the situation in hospitals is 'now beyond strain.' He told the public that 'to avoid getting sick, protect your family & healthcare workers please, please stay at home'. "Not only will you keep yourself and your loved ones safe, but also help avoid more preventable COVID-19 admissions to our now struggling healthcare system", Dr Glynn added.

Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory said further testing of Covid samples indicates that the United Kingdom variant continues to account for an increasing number of cases.

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The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.

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