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People urged to keep record of who they meet to help contact tracers stop spread of Covid-19

NPHET this evening continued to urge people to comply with social distancing over the bank holiday weekend.

Image: RollingNews.ie

PEOPLE ARE BEING asked to keep a record of who they meet this bank holiday weekend in order to help contact tracers should they later be identified as having Covid-19.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) this evening confirmed a further six patients diagnosed with Covid-19 have died and there are 39 new cases of the disease in Ireland. 

Since the beginning of the outbreak, there have been 24,876 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country and 1,645 people have died.  

Speaking this evening, NPHET continued to urge people to comply with social distancing over the bank holiday weekend. 

“We do recognise that people are out and about that bit more,” said Dr Ronan Gynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer. “Particularly with the bank holiday weekend and particularly with good weather.”

“If they are meeting people, in as much as possible, if they keep a record of who they are meeting, that will help in the event they’re a confirmed case,” he said. “That will help public health teams and the contact tracers to make contact more quickly and ensure insofar as possible that the spread is stopped.”

Data from the HPSC, as of midnight on Wednesday, shows that 3,270 people have been hospitalised with Covid-19, and of those hospitalised 404 cases have been admitted to ICU. 

Speaking at this evening’s briefing at the Department of Health, Dr Tony Holohan said the declining number of admissions to hospitals and ICU was “encouraging”. He said the current recovery rate is 90%. 

“Moving into next week, I would urge everyone to look back at the progress we have made over the past number of weeks and maintain our efforts to suppress Covid-19 into the future.”

Yesterday, HSE CEO Paul Reid confirmed that the HSE’s aim of having a three-day end-to-end turnaround time on contact tracing has not been met. 

Reid said earlier this month thay by Monday 18 May the HSE aimed to have a 90% end-to-end turnaround time of three days on testing being carried out and contact tracing being completed for Covid-19 positive cases.

Reid acknowledged this morning, however, the target has not been met and it is currently at 83%.

“We are obviously dealing with much more complex cases now, they can take longer or mental health areas or homeless facilities. They are more complex facilities, so tests will take longer,” he said.

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He said a new HSE dashboard is set to be published showing more detailed statistics.

The HSE boss also confirmed that 325,000 tests had been carried out in Ireland and that testing of close contacts commenced last week. 

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