There has been no significant increase in the spread of Covid-19 in the community since more restriction were lifted but many people with symptoms continue to delay contacting their GP longer than they should, members of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), said today
The comments were made as it was revealed that a further four people have died after contracting Covid-19 in Ireland.
A NPHET statement issued by the Department of Health said the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) has today confirmed that the new fatalities bring to 1,714 the number of Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.
As of midnight, Wednesday, June 17 the HPSC has been notified of 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 25,355 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.
The HSE said is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “The National Public Health Emergency Team met today (Thursday, June 18) and noted that approximately half of those diagnosed with COVID-19 in the community take more than two days from the onset of symptoms to make contact with their GP.
“The most important actions anyone can take from the moment they experience symptoms associated with COVID-19 is to self-isolate immediately, restrict the movement of household contacts and make phone contact with their GP,” he said.
The message was reinforced by Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist and HSE Integrated Care Lead.
“Covid-19 symptoms are common symptoms and therefore some people may not be inclined to immediately seek medical attention for a cough, shortness of breath, change in sense of smell or fever to their GP. In the context of this pandemic, we are asking you to do so, to help us limit the spread of COVID-19,” she said.
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “The reproductive number is now estimated to be close to 0.7. It is heartening to see that none of the data suggests that there is a significant increase of transmission of COVID-19 in the community since the commencement of Phase 2.”
Today’s data from the HPSC, as of midnight, Tuesday 16 June (25,399 cases), reveals:
· 57% are female and 43% are male
· the median age of confirmed cases is 48 years
· 3,282 cases (13%) have been hospitalised
· Of those hospitalised, 417 cases have been admitted to ICU
· 8,147 cases are associated with healthcare workers
· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 12,239 (48% of all cases) followed by Cork with 1,535 cases (6%) and then Kildare with 1,436 cases (6%)
· Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 37%, close contact accounts for 61%, travel abroad accounts for 2%