Ireland now has the lowest number of COVID-19 cases per capita in Europe and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan has praised young people for their conduct and concern for others.

Dr. Holohan said: "Ireland currently has the lowest incidence in Europe and has protected against the significant mortality and severe illness that many European countries, as well as the United States, have experienced.

"Our younger generation led the way, with the incidence in the 19-24 year age group reduced from 432 per 100,000 population to 41 per 100,000 population. This is an enormous achievement.

"We all need to recognize how well our younger generation has reduced their contacts and helped to protect the whole population. We all now need to follow this example in the weeks ahead.

"We can do this by planning from now for Christmas to reduce our social contacts and limit our activities.”.

A total of 2,123 people have died of COVID-19 in Ireland and 75,756 positive cases have been logged.

On Saturday, Irish COVID-19 hospitalizations fell below 200 for the first time in more than two months, falling to 185 with 31 patients in intensive care. 

Howver, Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, stated on Twitter that hospitalizations lag behind cases.

"This is why we worry about high case numbers and the risk of a third wave in January.

"If we see a rise in cases we cannot wait around until we have increasing numbers of people in hospital and ICU to convince ourselves we have a problem. We'll need to act quickly."

He stated: "The fundamental message: a small, safe, careful Christmas with those that matter the most to us will limit the levels of disease in January, and save lives."

This is why we worry about high case numbers, and the risk of a third wave in January. If we see a rise in cases we cannot wait around until we have increasing numbers of people in hospital and ICU to convince ourselves we have a problem. We’ll need to act quickly. 4/5 pic.twitter.com/SHmc565gTJ

— Professor Philip Nolan (@President_MU) December 12, 2020

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