The official number of confirmed coronavirus Covid-19 infections has passed the 20,000 mark on a day when it was confirmed that a further 31 have died after contracting the virus in Ireland.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has announced on Wednesday, April 29 that a further 376 people have tested positive for the illness.
Two months after the first case was confirmed on February 29, the up to date national figures for Wednesday, revealed that there have now been 20,253 people in Ireland who have tested positive.
The latest fatalities bring to 1,190 the total death toll from the virus.
About 70% of people who have contracted the virus have recovered. This is in line with international rates. The hospitalisation rate has fallen to 13.8%.
Of the first 19,000 notified more than 12,000 recovered without being hospitalised.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, said that while 'great progress', the situation is still not a point where restrictions can be eased. He said testing is not the key issue in deciding to lift restrictions.
"I don't see a set of circumstances today where I can see a lifting of the restrictions," he said.
He said the country has avoided having 10,000 of day making introducing restrictions.
He said he did not anticipate a significant change in the situation to change in the situation in the coming days. He said he did not anticipate the National Public Health Emergency Team to change its advice to Government when it meets on Friday.
He said there are still too many people in hospitals and there was still a challenge in nursing homes.
Dr Holohan also revealed that a second person aged between 15 and 24 had died after contracting the virus.
Dr Kathleen MacLellan, Assistant Secretary Department of Health and Chair of NPHET Vulnerable People Subgroup, said: “Ireland remains one of the few countries globally who has collected and officially reported data from long term residential care settings from the start of the pandemic.
“From the end of March, we have seen an increase in deaths in this sector that can be attributed to COVID-19.
“As we continue to collect and report mortality data coming from this sector we will have a greater understanding of the behaviour of the disease in this setting and it will help us to inform public health actions and clinical care,” she said.
Dr. Siobhán Ní Bhriain, HSE National Lead for Integrated Care, said; “We have put significant effort into developing clinical guidance for the residential care sector. This has driven the operational response and has been supported by education for all staff in this sector.
“This work is crucial in making sure our most vulnerable people get the best possible care in what is a very challenging time.”
Today’s data from the HPSC, as of midnight, Monday 27th April (19,723 cases), reveals:
· 58% are female and 42% are male
· the median age of confirmed cases is 49 years
· 2,669 cases (13%) have been hospitalised
· Of those hospitalised, 355 cases have been admitted to ICU
· 5,568 cases are associated with healthcare workers
· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 9,751 (49% of all cases) followed by Kildare with 1,162 cases (6%) and then Cork with 1,136 cases (6%)
· Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 63%, close contact accounts for 34%, travel abroad accounts for 3%