Latest Covid-19 death toll for Ireland nears 800 as number of new cases spikes

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

coronavirus covid-19

Figures for April 23 announced by Department of Health.

Confirmed deaths from Covid-19 is near the 800 mark according to the latest official figures from the Department of Health but more deaths are likely to be included as case are confirmed.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre confirmed today that 28 more people have died in Ireland after contracting the virus. It brings to 794 the official death toll from the pandemic to date.

An extra 936 new infections were confirmed bringing to 17,607 the total who have officially been confirmed as contracting the virus since February 29.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, urged the public to stay apart and stick with the social distancing.

“COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease. Modelling data shows us that the reproduction number remains below 1.0 and that we have achieved great progress through the action of staying apart.

“In order to continue protecting ourselves, our vulnerable groups and our healthcare workers, we must continue to practice physical distancing, respiratory etiquette and regular hand washing. These basic steps, if done by all, will save many lives.”

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “Today, the World Health Organisation Regional Director for Europe noted that up to half of those who have died of COVID-19 across Europe were living in residential care settings.

“Ireland continues to closely examine mortality so that we can understand it and do everything in our power to prevent it.

“We are now using our increased testing capacity to focus on staff and residents so that we can learn in real time about this virus and take actions informed by that evidence.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of NPHET Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said the while growth has been controlled we must be vigilant.

“For the population at large, the growth rate is at zero and the transmission of the virus is effectively suppressed.

“Our R number is between 0.5 and 0.8. This success emphasises how vital it is to remain vigilant in our behaviours. If the R number moves above one, we are no longer in control of the disease.”

Today’s data from the HPSC, as of midnight, Tuesday 21st April (16,439 cases), reveals:

·        56% are female and 43% are male

·        the median age of confirmed cases is 48 years

·        2,424 cases (15%) have been hospitalised

·        Of those hospitalised, 331 cases have been admitted to ICU

·        4,545 cases are associated with healthcare workers

·        Dublin has the highest number of cases at 8,216 (50% of all cases) followed by Cork with 1,087 cases (7%)

·        Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 52%, close contact accounts for 44%, travel abroad accounts for 4%.