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Coronavirus: 17 deaths and 73 new cases confirmed in Ireland

The Chief Medical Officer briefed Cabinet ministers earlier today.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE confirmed a further 17 deaths of patients diagnosed with Covid-19 and 73 new cases of the disease in Ireland.

There have been 24,803 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country since the beginning of the outbreak and 1,631 people have died.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan met with Cabinet ministers earlier today to brief them and address their questions on public health advice. 

Holohan told ministers he does not intend to advise that the two metre social distancing rule be reduced to one metre.

Concerns have been raised about the impact that the current guidance will have on businesses as the country re-opens, as well as people’s ability to use public transport and the capacity of the health service.

The HSE said it is “working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread”.

Today’s data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), shows that of the 24,730 cases reported as of midnight on Monday, 25 May:

  • 57% are female and 43% are male
  • the median age of confirmed cases is 48 years
  • 3,251 cases (13%) have been hospitalised
  • Of those hospitalised, 399 cases have been admitted to ICU
  • 7,891 cases are associated with healthcare workers
  • Dublin has the highest number of cases at 11,961 (48% of all cases), followed by Cork with 1,451 cases (6%) and Kildare with 1,408 cases (6%)
  • Of those for whom transmission status is known, community transmission accounts for 40%, close contact accounts fora 58%, travel abroad accounts for 2%

Preventing a second wave

Speaking this evening, Holohan said 90% of confirmed cases diagnosed with Covid-19 have recovered to date, but that we “cannot afford to stop the hard work involved in suppressing this virus”. 

Holohan stated that Covid-19 is “a new disease”, but added: “Ireland and the world understand more about the virus now than we did at the outset of this crisis.

“What we do know is that hand washing, social distancing and knowing when to self-isolate do work. These measures are the most effective tool we have to keep this virus suppressed and keep up this recovery rate.

“We know that the vast majority of Irish people understand this keep, and that they are staying the course with us as we continue to keep case numbers as low as possible.”

Dr Siobhán Kennelly, the HSE’s National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead for Older Persons, said the virus is having “an impact on everyone in Ireland”.

“We understand that as the country reopens in phases, people may be anxious. If we all maintain social distance, wash our hands well and often and know when to self-isolate, together we will keep this virus suppressed,” she added.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, said what people e do today has “a direct effect on tomorrow”.

“In order to prevent any second wave of Covid-19 from occurring, we need to remain vigilant and cautious. Continuing to follow the core public health advice is the best way to protect our most vulnerable now and in future,” Glynn stated.

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- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy at the Department of Health. 

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Órla Ryan

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