Ireland's Covid-19 rate is now the highest in the world
New figures were released yesterday
Ireland officially has the highest daily Covid-19 rate in the world. New data released by the Our World in Data organisation has shown that Ireland currently has the highest number of new Covid cases per million people, surpassing the UK, US, and Portugal.
The seven day rolling average for new cases in Ireland is 1,394 cases per million. The UK is currently on 810, Portugal is on 735, and the US is on 653 cases per million.
Yesterday saw 4,929 new cases of coronavirus reported in the Republic and eight new deaths. 1,582 Covid-19 patients are currently in hospital. As of yesterday, 146 of them were in intensive care.
Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, Professor Philip Nolan, has since warned that although cases appear to be stabilising, there remains immense pressure on the country's health service.
"Our health services remain very much under strain and very much under threat and will do so for the coming weeks," he said yesterday.
"We are seeing numbers of cases per day, and numbers in hospital, that we just could not have comprehended prior to Christmas."
In the latest measures to stem the rise in cases in the UK, the government has made it unlawful for people to leave their homes to sit outside.
Downing Street confirmed this week that leaving the house to sit on a park bench or elsewhere is banned under new Covid rules.
A government source has clarified that "short pause during the course of exercise would be reasonable", but that it would be "unlawful to leave the house just to sit in public."
The prime minister's spokesperson added: "People are allowed to leave their homes if it's for exercise, not socialising.
"We have set out clearly the rules. We have been clear in the exemption for the stay-at-home rule: we are permitting one person to meet another person for exercise."