New national figures
Another 49 people have died in Ireland from Covid-19 according to the Department of Health.
it brings the death toll from the virus to 779 so far.
Another 631 people have tested positive, bringing the total to 16,671.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, has said that there are 302 clusters of Covid-19 in community residential care homes. They account for 2,604 cases with 1,944 of these occurring in nursing homes.
He says testing is now key to the national response.
"Testing is a key element to Ireland’s response to COVID-19. NPHET has consistently highlighted the importance of testing so that we can track the spread of the disease, reduce and contain its spread. As part of understanding the testing landscape, NPEHT requested that HIQA undertake a Health Technology Assessment of alternative diagnostic testing methods for detecting COVID-19.”
Breakdown of Covid-19 cases in Ireland
Today’s data from the HPSC, as of midnight, Monday 20th April (15,871 cases), reveals:
· 56% are female and 44% are male
· the median age of confirmed cases is 48 years
· 2,387 cases (15%) have been hospitalised
· Of those hospitalised, 322 cases have been admitted to ICU
· 4,393 cases are associated with healthcare workers
· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 7,905 (50% of all cases) followed by Cork with 1,077 cases (7%)
· Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 61%, close contact accounts for 35%, travel abroad accounts for 4%
Of the 769 deaths in laboratory confirmed cases, 412 are associated with residents of residential care settings, of which 348 are associated with nursing home settings.
Dr Máirín Ryan is Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health Technology Assessment, HIQA.
“We have identified a range of diagnostic tests, both in development and already commercialised, that will need to be reviewed as part of a comprehensive quality assurance programme before being adopted as part of a national testing programme.
“The assessment has confirmed that Ireland’s current test, the real-time RT-PCR, remains the ‘gold standard’ test for detecting and confirming COVID-19 cases. HIQA continues to monitor and assess evidence on alternative diagnostic testing methods for COVID-19 and will report to NPHET on an ongoing basis.”
The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
Department of Health’s COVID-19 Information Dashboard provides the latest case information.