Covid-19 infection rate falls as deaths from pandemic's peak in Ireland come to light

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Community Assesments used at the peak of the pandemic

The Covid-19 infection rate has slowed again according to the pandemic response team but there has been a spike in the number of deaths though some are old cases.

In its daily coronavirus briefing National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has confirmed that the nine more people have died from the virus in Ireland.

This brings the total who have lost their lives in Ireland to the pandemic to 1,763 as notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Some of the new deaths date back to April when the pandemic peaked in Ireland.

However, the number of new cases has dropped back into single figures. The seven extra cases bring the total number of infections in Ireland to 25,826 since the first official case emerged in February.

NPHET has also revealed that the R reinfection rate has fallen back to between 1 and 1.4. It had fallen 1 during the lockdown but has risen again to nearly 2. The aim is to get it to zero.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said the figures show how Irish people answered the call to take collective measures to respond to signs of reemergence.

“Two weeks ago, we expressed our concerns about worrying trends in the progression of Covid-19 in Ireland. Collectively, people in Ireland responded to this call for action and together have broken chains of transmission. This is a further demonstration of the power of people working together and rising to the continued challenge of this unprecedented pandemic. What we need now is to hold firm and keep up the good work.

“I believe we can maintain the important progress we have made together, but only if we continue to heed the public health advice -  physical distance of 2m between one another, frequent hand washing, wearing a face-covering where appropriate and cough/sneeze hygiene,” he said.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, warned that the virus has not gone away.

“That the R value has decreased is welcome news. However, it is tempered by the fact that this novel virus is still with us, and it only needs our complacency to spread widely once again as it wants to do. This is a long game. As we head into the weekend and beyond, we must continue to remain vigilant in order to keep this progress up,” he said.

Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said there will is now a new role for the public in helping the health service get back on its feet.

“The resumption of non-Covid-19 healthcare services is, and always will be, a top priority. The greatest enabler of this will be our ability to keep community transmission at a low level. We can all play our part in ensuring our hospitals and care settings resume their vital work by following public health advice.

"Every small, individual action as you go about your day – keeping your distance, washing your hands, wearing a face covering – is an act of solidarity with frontline healthcare workers who want to see and treat patients,” he said. 

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community. 

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