The rapid growth of Covid-19 in recent days shows how unstable the outbreak was before Christmas, according to a leading infectious diseases specialist.

Yesterday the Department of Health reported 1,296 new cases — the highest-ever number confirmed in a single day in the Republic.

Six more patients with the virus have died, bringing the death toll to 2,200.

The first vaccines will be administered on Wednesday at Dublin’s St James’ Hospital according to the Sunday Independent.

Patients at Beaumont Hospital, Galway University Hospital and Cork’s CUH will also receive it that day.


Professor Sam McConkey says the outbreak could only be called “stable” here if we were seeing under ten cases a day.

“I’d like to see that we get down to a really stable place of tiny numbers – lets say single digit numbers in our country,” he said.

“Then it’s possible to keep it down; certainly for many, many months with just traditional really good outbreak investigation and contact tracing; and public health support and expertise.

“Whereas it’s very unstable, as we’ve seen in early December around 200-300 (cases).

“That’s not a stable place at all! It just rapidly jumps up.”