Ireland registers record 101 daily virus deaths
Ireland registered a record 101 coronavirus deaths in its daily tally on Tuesday, underlining the heavy toll the third wave of the pandemic has inflicted on the country.
It was the first time the daily count of COVID-19 fatalities has surpassed the 100 threshold, according to the Irish health ministry.
Its statistics show 3,418 people have now died from the virus in Ireland, which has a population of around five million.
It has grappled with two previous waves of infections during the pandemic with relatively low death and case figures.
However cases have rocketed since Christmas, when restrictions were initially relaxed, and following the emergence of new virus variants.
During the first week of January Ireland had the highest per capita rate of infection in the world, according to Oxford University data.
"The high mortality we are experiencing as a country at the moment is related to the surge of infection we saw several weeks ago," chief medical officer Tony Holohan said in a statement.
Ireland has imposed a third national lockdown through January, with schools, non-essential shops, restaurants and pubs shut, and residents told to stay at home.
Last week Prime Minister Micheal Martin said the measures will last until at least March 5, in a bid to prevent hospitals being overwhelmed.
Meanwhile Irish health workers have issued 150,500 first doses of vaccines, according to official data last updated on Sunday.
Health minister Stephen Donnelly has previously revealed plans to vaccinate every resident in the nation by September.
© 2021 AFP