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Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team 18 December 2021

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 7,333 confirmed cases of COVID-19.


As of 8am today, 410 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 107 are in ICU.


Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said; “Recent international experience and the rapid spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant here means we can expect to see a large number of cases over the next short period of time.  “We all remember the call to ‘flatten the curve’ in the early days of the pandemic – we have successfully driven down incidence of disease in the community before - we can and must now work together to do it again.  

“By choosing to act safely right now, together we can limit the impact this disease will have in the weeks to come and in doing so, we can protect the vulnerable, prevent unnecessary deaths and ensure the continued operation of our healthcare system and other essential services."


Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said; “The growth of the Omicron variant represents a significant threat to people’s ability to safely enjoy the Christmas and New Year period. Over the coming days please think about each of your social contacts and consider whether now is the time to be meeting with them.  

“Meet up outside where possible and avoid all crowded settings. If you have symptoms please isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test – do not go to work and do not meet up with other people. If you are identified as a close contact it is vital that you restrict your movements.”



Notes to Editor:

Statistics on booster vaccinations are now available on the COVID-19 data hub.

#LayerUp to protect against COVID-19 infection. A range of posters and signs are available for you to use.

 Day to day variation in the reported number of cases of COVID-19 does not impact on key trend analysis. Analysing over a longer time period such as a week or 14 days, smooths out any variations introduced by processing times, and provides a more stable picture of the trend. 

The number of notifications on CIDR will differ from other HSE data sources, such as positive SARS-CoV-2 results uploaded to the COVID Care Tracker, for several reasons including:

  • Deduplication of repeat positive tests in the same person 
  • Differing upload schedules by the laboratories to CCT and CIDR – uploading of positive records on CIDR by laboratories is a more manual process than uploading to CCT. Uploading to CIDR typically occurs on the day or within one day of authorisation of the laboratory test result 
  • The time required for the two-step method of processing notifications on CIDR - this typically occurs either on the day or within one day of laboratories uploading positive records on CIDR 

 *Daily case numbers may change due to future data validation.