- 08 Oct 20
The latest data reflects that Ireland's 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of population is 124.
The big Covid news, earlier today, was that a Madrid court has struck down an order that would see the Spanish capital and 9 satellite towns go into partial lockdown. In what may prove to be a landmark case, the court sided with the Madrid region in its dispute with the central government.
Madrid is battling a rapidly climbing infection rate of well over 700 cases per 100,000 people, compared with just 300 per 100,000 in the rest of Spain. Overall, Spain has recorded the highest number of infections in the EU and the UK – though the death rate in the UK is far higher, confirming what many people already know: that the the UK test and trace system is malfunctioning.
As of 08 October 2020, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says, a total of 3,782 334 cases have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK. These are made up as follows:
Spain (835,901), France (653,509), United Kingdom (544,275), Italy (333,940), Germany (310,144), Netherlands (149,817), Romania (142,570), Belgium (137,774), Poland (107,319), Sweden (96,677), Czechia (95,360), Portugal (81,256), Austria (51,382), Ireland (39,584), Hungary (33,114), Denmark (30,710), Bulgaria (22,743), Greece (20,947), Croatia (18,447), Norway (14 784), Slovakia (14,689), Finland (11,049), Luxembourg (9,119), Slovenia (7,124), Lithuania (5,483), Estonia (3,715), Malta (3,442), Iceland (3,172), Latvia (2,261), Cyprus (1,897) and Liechtenstein (130).
As of 08 October 2020, the ECDPC adds that 193,569 deaths have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK. The highest figure is in the United Kingdom (42,515). However, as reported in Hot Press previously, this is widely regarded as a severe underestimation of the number of fatalities in the UK, with the true figure likely hovering somewhere over 60,000.
The European figures are: Italy (36,061), Spain (32,562), France (32,445), Belgium (10,108), Germany (9,578), Netherlands (6,509), Sweden (5,892), Romania (5,203), Poland (2,792), Portugal (2,040), Ireland (1,816), Hungary (877), Bulgaria (873), Austria (844), Czechia (829), Denmark (663), Greece (424), Finland (346), Croatia (309), Norway (275), Slovenia (141), Luxembourg (128), Lithuania (101), Estonia (67), Slovakia (55), Malta (41), Latvia (40), Cyprus (24), Iceland (10) and Liechtenstein (1).
The number of deaths in Ireland is notably high compared to countries like Austria, Denmark and Greece. However it is not clear that like is always being compared with like. Ireland certainly has a record of reporting every possible Covid-related death as such, with the Covid deaths consistently equalling the number of excess deaths above the average for the previous five years.
Meanwhile, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin discussed the situation in Northern Ireland with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today. It is the Irish government's position that an island-wide strategy is the best means of tackling the coronavirus crisis.
The number of cases recorded every day in Northern Ireland is running at a multiple of the cases south of the border, with 923 new cases announced today – a disparity that might make a mockery of any lockdown in the Republic.
The leader of the Green Party and Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, said to Claire Byrne on RTÉ that the UK seems to be ahead of us in their second wave, and noted it would be better to have an all-Ireland approach.
Eamon Ryan insisted that the Government will continue to listen to expert public health advice, and be guided by it. He also said that Ireland should attempt to match other European countries, who have remained out of full lockdown, while managing to keep cases at a lower level.
He was defending the decision, taken by the Cabinet, not to put the country into lockdown on Monday, on the basis that it would have been disastrous for the economy – and because there seemed to be a lack of the necessary consultation between NPHET, who made the lockdown recommendation, and the Government.
However, NPHET have since said that they had discussed their intended recommendations with the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly in advance of making the news public. The Minister is due to make a statement in the Dáil on the issue today.
That shemozzle notwithstanding, Minister Eamon Ryan restated that the Government was not ignoring public health advice by choosing to place the country under Level 3 restrictions, adding that they needed to take other information and issues into account when making that particular decision.
Meanwhile, Tomás Ryan, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin, has said that the COVID-19 situation has gotten worse since Sunday, despite two weeks of Level 3 restrictions in Dublin. He said that data is still showing "what looks like exponential growth."
The Tánaiste Leo Varadker said that Sunday's leak of NPHET's recommendation to move the country to Level 5 restrictions had led to "fear, anxiety and panic for hundreds of thousands of people who thought they would be out of work the next day."
The Tánaiste also said there will be "collective action" to tackle the virus, and that the testing infrastructure was being put in place for 100,000 tests per day.
Whatever else, what one can say for sure is that Covid-19 is unlikely to be out of the headlines any time soon...