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Significant variations' in death rates across Dublin attributed to outbreaks in residential care settings

The HSE said significant variations in the figures were often driven by serious outbreaks in a nursing home or residential care settings.

Mater Hospital Dublin
Mater Hospital Dublin
Image: Shutterstock/Derick Hudson

MORE THAN 10% of confirmed Covid-19 cases in some parts of Dublin have resulted in the death of the infected person according to new data from the HSE.

A detailed breakdown of fatalities across the country and the Dublin area has been provided showing how in a single postcode area in the capital, 88 people died.

The HSE said significant variations in the figures were often driven by serious outbreaks in a nursing home or residential care settings.

The data shows how in the Dublin 6 area, there were 512 cases of which 60 (or 11.7%) resulted in the death of a person.

Dublin 6 covers an area of the city that includes Rathmines, Ranelagh, and Rathgar.

In Dublin 20, the proportion of cases that ended in a fatality was even higher. In that area, a relatively low number of cases were confirmed at 239. However, from that figure, 30 people lost their lives to Covid-19.

The Dublin 20 area is primarily made up of Chapelizod and Palmerstown and has a number of residential care settings.

In other areas, the proportion of cases that resulted in death was much lower.

In Dublin 7 – an area encompassing Cabra, Stoneybatter, and Phibsboro – there were 513 cases recorded, of which 23 resulted in the infected person dying.

Similarly in Dublin 15, which had one of the highest case numbers at 883, a total of 39 people lost their lives – or around 4.4% of cases.

That area covers Blanchardstown, Castleknock and the surrounding suburbs.

The figures were released following a Freedom of Information request and provide the most detailed information yet available on where deaths have taken place around Ireland.

By definition, they only cover confirmed cases and do not include instances of Covid-19 where a person was not tested or may have been asymptomatic and never knew they were infected.

The lowest fatality per case figure in the capital was found in Dublin 4 – a district covering Donnybrook, Ballsbridge, and neighbouring areas – where just four deaths have been recorded.

That was 1.5% from a total of 271 confirmed cases.

The figures were up to date until June 20 since when the number of daily cases has been relatively low, although increasing over the past week.

Dublin 1 – covering Dublin’s north inner city – had 197 cases with 10 deaths while Dublin 2 on the other side of the Liffey had 103 cases and seven deaths.

Other areas of Dublin that recorded more than 40 fatalities include Dublin 5 (43), Dublin 9 (48), and Dublin 11 (58).

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In the wider Co Dublin, which includes large areas in the north, west, and south of the county, 2,433 cases had been confirmed with 145 deaths.

The figures also included 796 cases in the capital where a more detailed address is not available, a figure from which three people died.

In explanation, the HSE said: “We have taken a look at the dataset – and can find [more than] >1,000 cases without any address data except ‘Dublin’ in the county field.

“These cases are distributed throughout the dataset in time, are of all age, some are related to outbreaks; some aren’t. There does not seem to be a pattern.”

A total of 20 people who gave an address outside Ireland are also confirmed to have contracted Covid-19 with one of them dying.

Nationally, the county with the highest number of deaths recorded compared to cases was Clare with 38 deaths as against 369 confirmed cases.

Lowest was Waterford with 155 cases and just two deaths confirmed as of June 20.

The HSE said: “Some patient addresses reflect the location of their residential care facility. This will inflate the figures for postcodes with large outbreaks in residential care facilities.”

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Ken Foxe

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