More than 100 new Covid-19 pandemic infections as the virus claims more lives

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

coronavirus covid-19

Latest figurgs on the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland

More than 24,500 people have tested positive in Ireland, according to the latest official figures from the Department of Health.

Data confirmed by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre show that a further 115 coronavirus infections were confirmed on Friday, May 22 bring to 24,506 the total number of officially confirmed positive tests since February 29.

A statement issued by the Department of Health for the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) also confirmed that a further 11 people have died after catching the virus.

The new deaths bring to 1,592 the total number of deaths in Ireland during the pandemic.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health. said it was too early to tell if a rise in infections related to the easing of restrictions. 

It is the first day in six consecutive days when the number of infections was below 100. Dr Holohan said the figures confirmed on Friday relation to infections contracted before the lockdown was lifted on May 18.

He said people gathering of crowds on beaches was "exactly the sort of thing" that NPHET did not want to see.  He praised the actions of the gardaí.

He said the vast majority of people were sticking with the restrictions. He added that NPHET was 'pleased to see' the wind and rain.

Speaking about a second wave, Dr Holohan said a lot has been said about herd immunity but it would have had to build up to 60% of the population. He said the percentage of people who have been exposed to the virus is quite low.

He said this means it would behave as it did behave before a single case was detected in Ireland. 

He said it is more transmissible than previously thought. He said the low immunity level in the general population would mean that the reality is that suppressing the infection requires that other measures would be needed to stem the spread such as social distancing, washing hands, self-isolation.