Coronavirus infections on island of Ireland exceed 100 as 20 new cases identified on Friday

Rumours of Red Lockdown not true

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Big jump in the number of local coronavirus infections in Ireland confirmed

The number of coronavirus Covid-19 confirmed cases on the island of Ireland has passed the 100 mark.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today, March 13, been informed of 20 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Of the new cases, four confirmed cases involving healthcare workers, do not stem from the same case

The National Public Health Emergency team says six cases are associated with travel. 

This brings to 90 the number of cases confirmed in the Republic of Ireland since February 29. So far one person has died in the Republic.

The biggest cluster of cases of confirmed infections who have travelled to the Republic from an infected area is 16.

Nine new cases were confirmed in Northern Ireland on Friday bringing to 29 the total number of cases in Northern Ireland.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the National Public Health Emergency Team will continue to monitor the ongoing threat of this virus and will take actions where necessary.

"For people returning from areas affected by Covid-19, we strongly encourage the individual to restrict their movements," he said.

He said the rumours of a lockdown.

"It is not a lockdown situation. I say that clearly and emphatically," he said.

Dr Holohan said there is no advice regarding restricting movements of people returning from Cheltenham unless they are showing symptoms.

He also said that the level of immunity for people after being infected is not expected.

Reporters were also told that it will be some time before a vaccine can be used.

An increase in testing and possible confirmed cases is on the cards over the coming days as the National Public Health Emergency Team changed the threshold for Covid-19 testing.

It also emerged on Friday that the Health Service Executive has been asked to identify around 10,000 beds, in various locations for Covid-19 cases in a worst-case scenario.

On Thursday, Ireland introduced new measures as part of our effort to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19.

These include:

- Individuals who have symptoms should self-isolate for a period of 14 days
- Individuals should reduce discretionary social contacts as much as possible
- Elderly or medically vulnerable people should reduce as much as possible contacts outside home there should be no mass

Gatherings banned:
a) involving more than 100 people if located indoors

b) involving more than 500 people if located outdoors

- Closure of museums, galleries and tourism sites
- Closure to students of schools, creches, other childcare facilities and higher education institutions
- Reduction of workplace contacts, and implementation of remote working practices and teleconferencing where possible and not to travel for meetings. Work time and break times should be staggered, where possible
- Restriction of visiting at hospitals, long term care settings, mental health facilities, prisons, and spacing measures in homeless shelters.


NPHET further recommends that these measures should be introduced until Sunday 29 March 2020. The impact of these measures will be under continuous review.