There has been one new death from coronavirus confirmed in Ireland this evening by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. The tragic passing of a male patient in the east of the country with an underlying condition has brought Ireland's Covid-19 death toll to seven.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has also been informed of 204 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. There are now 1,329 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
The HSE is now working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
Today’s data from HPSC, as of midnight, Sunday 22 March (965 cases), reveals:
The Department of Health has today launched a new COVID-19 Information Dashboard which provides up-to-date case information. It's available at www.gov.ie/dashboard
The National Public Health Emergency Team met last night (Monday 23 March) and this morning (Tuesday 24 March) to review Ireland’s response to COVID-19 preparedness.
There have been 17,992 tests have been carried out as of midnight last night. There are approximately 2,000 tests being carried out across the country at the moment and that number is expected to reach 3,000 tests per day by next week.
The average wait time, which was approximately one week before, is now approximately 26 hours from the time the sample arrives at the lab. Turnaround times in hospitals would be significantly shorter.
Anyone wanting a test will have an initial consultation with a GP who refers you to a sampling centre. The sample then comes to a laboratory for assessment. Laboratories are currently testing samples taken on Sunday.
There are huge shortages of protective gear for health workers but it has been confirmed that a considerable stock of masks, gowns and goggles are being supplied by China this week.
If you are experiencing symptoms, such as fever and cough, self isolate and call your GP who will guide you and refer you for a test if necessary. There is now a testing centre open at St Joseph's Hospital, Longford, but this is by GP referral.
Worldwide, the figures have surpassed 400,000 with a total of 409,052 cases reported in 196 countries. In total, there have been 18,262 deaths and the number of recoveries has amounted to 107,073.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “We are now in the crucial weeks of our response to Covid-19. All actions we take are based on epidemiological evidence and in proportion to our experience on this island.
“As we learn more about this disease, we are prioritising who will be tested. If you are not in a priority group, you might not be tested. However, if you have the symptoms, assume you have Covid-19 and isolate yourself.”
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Priority groups for testing include close contacts of a confirmed case with symptoms, healthcare workers with symptoms and people who are vulnerable with symptoms.
“Whether you are tested or not, the advice remains the same; if you have any symptoms, assume you have Covid-19 and isolate yourself for 14 days to help stop the spread of this disease. Household contacts of a suspected case should restrict their contacts for 14 days.”
Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said; “14,692 samples have been tested at the NVRL, of which 93% returned negative.
“Ireland is following WHO advice to “test, test, test” and is in the top quartile in terms of number of tests we have performed per capita. This, alongside physical distancing measures and intensive contact tracing, is deemed best practice internationally for dealing with this threat.”
Analysis of public health contact tracing has shown that the average number of close contacts per confirmed case has decreased from 20+ to the region of 5 contacts. This shows that the public is following health advise and actively limiting the amount of people they engage with.
NPHET will meet again on Thursday 26th March, to review Ireland’s ongoing preparedness and response to Covid-19.
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