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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 15 May 2021

Coronavirus: Four deaths and 545 new cases confirmed in Ireland

The latest figures were released by NPHET this afternoon.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan at a press briefing last week.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan at a press briefing last week.
Image: Leah Farrell

A FURTHER 545 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Ireland, public health officials have said.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) this afternoon also confirmed that four more people with Covid-19 have died.

This now brings the total Covid-19 death toll to 4,903 and the total number of confirmed cases to 248,870.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 294 are men / 244 are women
  • 77% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 29 years old
  • 264 in Dublin, 58 in Kildare, 50 in Cork, 29 in Donegal, 28 in Galway and the remaining 116 cases are spread across 21 other counties.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “The easing of restrictions is a welcome and deserved turning point in our collective efforts to get through this pandemic. It is a step closer towards the shared national goal of suppressing Covid-19 and protecting the vulnerable. 

“However, incidence around the country varies. Some areas are in a more precarious position than others. For example, while the national incidence rate is 125 per 100,000, Donegal currently stands at 295 per 100,000. This is extremely concerning for public health doctors locally.”

He called on community leaders in areas like Donegal to “encourage the people there” to stick with public health measures. 

The deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said the virus “still poses a threat and it is important to stay vigilant and not drop your guard over the coming weeks”.

“This is especially true for those who have yet to be vaccinated or are particularly vulnerable,” he said. 

“The important thing to do as society reopens is to continue to risk assess your choices and your environment. Just because something is an option, doesn’t always mean it’s safe. Crowded places and enclosed spaces still carry a risk. If you don’t feel comfortable, or feel a place is too crowded, leave.”

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Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said it’s “extremely important” for businesses to take this time to review safety practices and protocols. 

“We are all looking forward to seeing one another again for a browse, a coffee, or a meal. But we must do so safely, and in new ways, to ensure this virus is kept at bay for the coming months as vaccination levels continue to increase.”

Professor Pete Lunn, head of the Behavioural Research Unit at the ESRI outlined research results on people’s behaviour. 

These show that “while the large majority of the population continue to follow the public health guidelines in most aspects of their lives, there has nevertheless been a clear fall-off in the levels of compliance reported in recent weeks”, Professor Lunn said.

“However, the average number of people that each individual met from another household, the number of social visits to homes, and the likelihood that people had close contacts, all of which had been increasing during February and March, did not increase further over the Easter period,” he added. 

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