Analysis of the instances of Covid-19 throughout the country does not fall within the remit of my Department as it is more proper to the Department of Health. However, my Department has made enquiries with the Department of Health, which has provided the following information. Since the National Public Health Emergency Team, NPHET, met for the first time, a commitment was given to collect and publish as much relevant data as possible while ensuring individual patient confidentiality is always maintained. While the nature and scale of the Covid-19 pandemic has been unprecedented, the collection of timely and comprehensive data has been instrumental in developing the health service response to Covid-19 and to the advice provided by NPHET and the Department of Health to assist Government decision-making in the wider response to the disease in Ireland. Comprehensive national statistics, information and data about Covid-19, including a timeline of confirmed cases by date, is published daily on the Department of Health website and on the Covid-19 data hub and dashboards. Links to this data can be found on the gov.ie website.
The published data are based on official figures provided by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, HPSC, and the Health Service Executive. All datasets, charts and maps are updated on an ongoing basis and in line with newly published data. I am also aware that the Covid-19 data hub now offers regularly updated local electoral area, LEA, data. However, as mentioned, care is required to ensure patient confidentiality is preserved and no potential identification of individual cases arises. As a result, the data relating to confirmed cases by LEA are published weekly on a Thursday, reflecting new cases notified in each LEA for the 14-day period up to midnight on the previous Monday. The Deputy may also wish to note that a range of data on the epidemiology of Covid-19 in Ireland, including data on county incidence levels and trends in transmission, are published in the daily report by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and is available on its website along with a daily report on the last 14 days in cases.
In the Department of Social Protection, 2,363 people were in receipt of the enhanced illness benefit as of 23 November. To date, more than 89,000 people have been medically certified for receipt of a Covid-19-related illness benefit payment.