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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 24 September 2020

Coronavirus: One death and 174 new cases confirmed in Ireland

The latest figures were confirmed by the Department of Health this evening.

Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.
Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.
Image: Leon Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE confirmed a further 174 cases of coronavirus in Ireland, with one new death reported.

In a statement this evening, the Department of Health said that there have now been a total of 26,644 confirmed cases in this country, and 1,772* Covid-19 related deaths.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 124 are men and 48 are women
  • 69% are under the age of 45
  • 112 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case
  • Five cases have been identified as community transmission
  • 110 cases are located in Kildare, 27 in Dublin, 7 in Cork, 7 in Offaly, 6 in Meath and 17 are spread across thirteen other counties (Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Tipperary, Wexford and Wicklow).

The figures are released as new restrictions came into force today in counties Kildare, Offaly and Laois for the next two weeks.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly defended the government’s decision to impose the restrictions, saying it was necessary: “Ultimately it comes down to… making a call as to when it is reasonable to ask people to make sacrifices.”

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, said this evening that today’s high numbers were “not unexpected”. 

“Throughout this week, we have been testing all workers in facilities where outbreaks of Covid-19 have been identified as well as close contacts of those people who have received Covid positive results.

Tonight’s figures are a reflection of these measures with 118 of these cases linked to the counties of Kildare, Laois and Offaly.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One News, Dr Glynn said that the majority of the cases today are related to the clusters in meat factories or close contacts of people who are working there. 

He said that he is as confident as can be that the disease “has not leaked out more widely in these communities”, but said that the cases demonstrated why they had to act quickly yesterday to impose restrictions on three counties in Ireland.

We don’t wait anymore for people to have symptoms, we test everybody. 

“Our priority now and our reason for recommending the proactive measures announced last night, is to avoid these cases and clusters leading to widespread community transmission of the disease.

50 of tonight’s cases are located outside of these three counties and around the rest of the country. I once again ask everyone regardless of where you live in the country to take every precaution possible to help us control the spread of this disease and protect our most vulnerable.

“This means continuing to wash our hands, keeping 2 metres apart from one another, avoiding crowds, wearing face coverings where appropriate, covering our coughs and sneezes and downloading the Covid Tracker app.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said:

“As outlined by the Acting Chief Medical Officer at the press conference last night, the 14-day incidence per 100,000 population in Kildare, Laois and Offaly is worryingly high.

“While the national incidence stands at 16.3 per 100,000, in Kildare it stands at 130.3, in Laois it is 69.7 and in Offaly it is 89.8.

“Should these cases result in widespread transmission, it could undo a lot of the good work that we have done as a country so far to control the spread of this virus,” Nolan said. 

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*Validation of data by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has resulted in the denotification of one death.

- with reporting from Sean Murray

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