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New report shows there are now 118 clusters of Covid-19 in Ireland, with 24 in nursing homes

That’s according to the latest data by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

THERE ARE NOW a total of 118 Covid-19 coronavirus clusters in the Republic of Ireland, according to new figures. 

A report published today by the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) found that out of the 118 clusters, which are outbreaks of positive cases that are likely to be connected, 24 had occurred in nursing homes. 

The report published today analyses data as of midnight on 29 March, when the number of confirmed cases was Covid-19 was 2,677. There are now 3,235 cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland. 

A total of 21 of the 24 nursing home clusters have been reported to be in the east of the country. 

Clusters of confirmed cases were also recorded in 21 hospitals, 12 of which were located in the east of the country. 

Of the 647 cases who were healthcare workers, 75% had no history of foreign travel in the 14 days prior to the onset of their symptoms. 

In relation to nursing homes, the chief executive of Nursing Homes Ireland Tadgh Daly said it is “not appropriate” that nursing home workers are still waiting days for their test results. 

Nursing home staff and residents are included in the HSE’s list of priority groups for testing. 

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast today, Daly said he is “concerned” about a lack of government prioritisation of the testing issue for nursing home staff. 

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 13.56.57 Source: HPSC

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Earlier today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that Ireland is doing “a lot of tests” for Covid-19. 

“In Ireland we’ve decided as a country, to do a lot of tests. We’re in the top tier of countries in the world when it comes to number of tests we’re doing. That’s the right thing to do in terms of containing the virus,” Varadkar said. 

“But we are running into difficulties and we need to be honest with people and frank about that. There is a global shortage of testing kits, there’s a shortage of reagents, and we also need the laboratory capacity,” he said. 

“So we are going to have bumps in the road where there are delays at particular points in time.”

Age profile 

The age brackets which have seen the most confirmed cases are both the 35-44 and 45-54 ones, both making up 18.8% cases (503 and 504 cases). 

Those over the age of 65 make up 21% of cases with 563. 

Six children under the age of one have contracted the virus, while 11 children between the ages of one and four have tested positive. 

There have been 30 cases among five to 14-year-olds and 178 cases in the 15-24 age bracket. 

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 13.06.55 Source: HPSC

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A breakdown of cases also shows that so far 703 cases have been hospitalised, and 113 admitted to ICU. 

Figures show that four children under the age of five and three children between the age of five and 14 have been admitted to hospital as of midnight on 29 March. 

There were 61 cases between the ages of 25 and 34 hospitalised, with six people in the same age bracket admitted to ICU. 

Those in the 65+ age bracket made up the majority of hospitalisations, with 321 cases, and the majority of ICU admittance at 43.

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 13.04.11 Source: HPSC

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Country of infection

The HPSC report also details the country in which each person is believed to have contracted the virus. 

Most of the 2,677 confirmed cases are understood to have been contracted in Ireland – 1,462. 

921 cases are of unknown origin, while 61 cases are associated with Italy, followed by 78 cases with the UK. 

51 cases are associated with Austria, while another 30 cases are understood to have been contracted in Spain. 

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 13.07.40 Source: HPSC

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County breakdown

Dublin remains the county with the largest volume of confirmed cases, reporting 1,487 (55.%). 

This is followed by Cork with 238, Galway with 86, Westmeath with 77, and Wicklow with 73.

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 13.08.19 Source: HPSC

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Last night, the Department of Health confirmed a further 17 deaths and 325 new cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland. 

It brings to 71 the number of deaths from Covid-19 in Ireland; the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 3,235. 

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says that number of contacts people who are confirmed to have Covid-19 have has reduced from around 20 before any measures were taken, then to five, and now to just three.

He also said that since the criteria for who should be tested was changed, the number of positive cases has risen from 6% of those who are tested, to 15% of all those who are tested.

With reporting by Press Association

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