Biggest daily rise in coronavirus Covid-19 infections confirmed in Ireland - as critical point in Ireland's epidemic arrives

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Covid-19

The Department of Health has confirmed that 500 new cases of Covid-19 has been identified and 28 more people have died from coronavirus.

That brings the total number of cases here to 6,574 and 263 the number of deaths in Ireland.

The 500 daily increase on April 9 marks the biggest daily increase in infections since the first was reported on February 29.

However, despite the record high confirmed cases, the Government's experts say that social distancing has worked.

Professor Philip Nolan,Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (IEMAG), says that social distancing measures are having a 'very profound effect' on the growth rate of the virus, which has now fallen to 9%.

"We know that because we are seeing a day on day reduction in the growth rate," he said at the daily National Public Health Emergency Team update.

He said this has slowed from 30% to less than 10% this week, day on day. 

"Frankly, that number needs to be zero to have control over the epidemic," he said. “We are at a very delicate and critical point in our response to this pandemic,” he said.

The breakdown of the latest deaths is:

·        22 deaths located in the east, 2 in the north-west, 2 in the south and 2 in the west.

·        the people included 15 females and 13 males

·        the median age of today’s reported deaths is 84

·        19 people were reported as having underlying health conditions

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “The virus is still sustaining itself in our community. If we do not stay at home and practice physical distancing then we are not stopping the spread.

“It is crucial that each one of us take seriously the risks this virus poses, follows the guidelines and limit the opportunity for this virus to spread.

“We must follow the public health advice as closely as we possibly can so that we can limit the spread of the virus.

"Stay at home, practice physical distancing, practice hand hygiene, protect eachother."

Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said; “I would like to acknowledge the enormous efforts of healthcare workers caring for patients in hospitals and the community. The best way people can show support for them is by staying at home and observing the guidelines. This keeps everyone safe.”

Dr Holohan says the median age of deaths so far is 81, with a split of 60% male and 40% female.

Dr Holohan says there are 317 clusters of infection so far accounting for 1,391 individual cases.

A quarter of confirmed cases have been hospitalised but less than 4% were admitted to ICU. Healthcare workers account for  nearly a third of all cases.

The median age of those 6,444 people with the virus is 48.

The majority of admissions to intensive care units have happened in the last 10-14 days. To date, there have been 242 admissions to ICU. Two-thirds of these still in hospital.

A quarter of patients needing critical care have been discharged while just over 10% or 30 people have died while in intensive care. 80% of people admitted to ICU (193 people) were reported as having an underlying illness.

The median age of those in ICU is 60.