More than 50% of the country’s infections are traceable to the use of anti-malware software, a significant improvement from the country of 30 million that suffered its worst virus outbreak in three decades.
The Department of Health has reported a 95% reduction in the number of cases of the coronavirus across the country.
Ireland’s overall population of 11 million is also up by 12% from a year ago, with more than 12 million people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Government has also announced that an additional 2,000 beds will be built in Dublin and Limerick and a further 500 more in Galway, Cork and Limavady.
It has also ordered that all new cases be reported within 24 hours and that the city of Dublin will be the first in the country to introduce a vaccine for the virus.
The new strategy follows a pledge from the Minister for Health that if Ireland is able to bring the number down to zero by the end of 2017, there would be an increase in health services across the island.
The Minister for Public Health, James Reilly, said the country would be able to recover by 2021 from its worst-ever virus outbreak and there would also be an additional 5,000 extra beds built in the capital city.
He added that there was now more than 20,000 cases per 100,000 people in the island and that there were almost three times as many people in hospitals in the county as there were in the city.
In an effort to reduce the risk of further spread, the Government will announce plans to introduce the vaccine in Dublin in the coming days.
“We are moving from the low-risk level of the current virus, which means that we’re still at low risk, to a new high-risk threshold of zero cases and the public health consequences will be quite serious,” Mr Reilly said.
“What we’re doing is looking to build the health system to the level that we have to in the event that this virus comes back.”
There will be very strong evidence-based measures to reduce, in the short term, the number and the severity of the virus and the number that we are seeing in Ireland.
“If we can achieve that in the shortest time possible, that will be an improvement to the situation in Ireland.”
The Government is also increasing the number inpatient hospital beds, which have already doubled from the previous year.
It will also increase the number for the acute care units and the total number of beds in the public sector.
The country’s national health service, the Health Service Executive, has also raised the level of its infection surveillance and has increased the number it provides at emergency departments.
Dr Reilly said the Government was committed to reducing the numbers of infections, especially in the last three months of the pandemic.
“This was a pandemic in which there were a lot of cases and we were losing people.
Now we have the opportunity to reduce those numbers,” he said.
He added: “We need to get more people in care.
The Government has set an ambitious target of reducing the number to zero.”
The aim here is to get people into the health systems in a timely manner.
We need to reduce that to zero within a matter of days.
“The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, which is responsible for the countrys coronaviruses strategy, said it was proud of the work it had undertaken to increase the country`s numbers.”
Over the last 12 months we have seen significant improvement in our ability to identify and respond to cases and in our response to outbreaks.
We have a robust national response and have taken some steps to strengthen our response in the areas of health and safety,” Dr Reilly said in a statement.”
However, we are not complacent and our approach to reducing infections must remain the same, as the situation continues to evolve.
“The national vaccination campaign is expected to cost about €300m, with the Government spending about €30m on anti-Virus software.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said it had also provided €30,000 to the Irish Red Cross and the Irish Public Health Agency.
In a statement, NICE said it would continue to provide support to the Government and its partners in their response to the pandemics.”NICE has been actively involved in this process, providing guidance to all stakeholders, including the Government, the Irish Medicines Board and the Government’s antivirus and infection response teams.
This has included advice on the proper use of antibiotics in cases of suspected infection,” the statement said.
It said that this included guidance on the correct use of antiviral medication in cases with suspected infection.
NICE also said it wanted to continue to work with the Public Health Authority of Ireland (PHAI) on the implementation of the government`s vaccination plan.
It also noted that the Government had invested in an additional 1,000 staff in its response to cases