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Coronavirus: 37 deaths, a further 185 'probable deaths' and 577 new cases confirmed in Ireland

Health officials are giving an update this evening on the outbreak in Ireland.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE confirmed that a further 37 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 in Ireland have died.

There are a further 185 ‘probable deaths’, where it’s suspected the person who died had Covid-19, but a test is yet to confirm that.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer said tonight that a “probable death” was recorded when a person who died didn’t have a swab taken to test for Covid-19, but a doctor believes that it was probable they had Covid-19.

He said of the 3,830 healthcare workers who have contracted Covid-19, 159 had been hospitalised, 24 had been admitted to ICU, and five healthcare workers had died.

It brings to 1,014 the total number of deaths from the coronavirus here to date.

577 new cases were also confirmed by officials at a briefing at the Department of Health this evening, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 18,184.

Speaking at that briefing this evening, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) had met today and decided to divide the reported deaths between ‘lab-confirmed’ deaths and ‘probable’ Covid-19 related deaths.

The case definition for testing, or the symptoms needed in order to get tested, is also about to change slightly: it had been that you needed a fever or a persistent cough to get tested. Now, Holohan says “any of the symptoms of fever, recent onset of cough or shortness of breath” will be acceptable to get tested. 

Holohan acknowledged that there is more complacency lately in adhering to measures, which “you can understand from the public”.

“Progress is needed in the next 7 days (when NPHET is due to meet next), and provide our government at that point.”

At this time we’re not making anything stricter. These measures are working, if compliance stops, they’ll stop working. We’re not in a position to force people… And we don’t think measures will need to be added in this moment in time.

This afternoon, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launched a government wellbeing programme for citizens during the crisis, with advice on how to stay active and social, and resources for parents to help keep children entertained.

On RTÉ’s Prime Time last night, Health Minister Simon Harris warned that the next 12 days will be crucial in how far Ireland can suppress the virus, which will help inform what happens after 5 May.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC)’s analysis of cases as of Wednesday this week (17,420 cases), shows that:

  • 57% were female and 43% were male
  • The median age of confirmed cases was 49
  • 2,486 cases were hospitalised (14%). 338 of these have been admitted to ICU
  • 4,713 cases are associated with healthcare workers
  • Dublin has the highest number of cases at 8,729 (50% of all cases) followed by Cork with 1,096 cases (6%)
  • Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 49%, close contact accounts for 47%, travel abroad accounts for 4%.

- with reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha

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