Third death from COVID-19 in the Republic

191 new cases reported
  • Deborah Condon

A third person with COVID-19 (coronavirus) has died in the Republic of Ireland, the Department of Health has said.

Furthermore, 191 new cases have been confirmed today.

This means a total of 557 cases have been confirmed here, with a further 77 in Northern Ireland.

The first death from COVID-19 in the North was also announced earlier on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows that of the 350 cases of COVID-19 notified to it as of midnight on March 17, 55% were male and the average age of those affected was 43.

Some 31% of cases had been hospitalised and 2% required intensive care.

Almost one in four cases overall involved healthcare workers.

The worst affected county was Dublin, with 172 cases, followed by Cork (62) and Limerick (14). Fourteen counties had less than five cases confirmed, including Donegal, Sligo and Wexford.

Some 43% of cases were due to travel abroad, while 35% were cases of community transmission.

The department's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, extended his condolences to the family and friends of the patient who had died.

He emphasised that it is "too early to see any impact of our social distancing measures" so far. He also warned that the data "underscores the importance of younger people to rigorously follow public health advice and social distancing measures".

"Everyone must play their role. We need to continue maximising our efforts to interrupt new transmission chains and keep clusters under control. Reduce your social contacts to those in your closest family network. Practice social distancing. Stop shaking hands and hugging when you say hello," he said.

COVID-19 is spread through close contact with an infected person's body fluids (e.g. droplets from coughing or sneezing), or by touching surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on.

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of the virus to show. These may include a cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and fever (high temperature).

COVID-19 can also cause more severe illnesses, including pneumonia and severe breathing difficulties. Some 80% of cases will be mild to moderate, 14% will be more severe, while 6% will be critical.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, people should:
-Practice social distancing and avoid crowded places
-Wash their hands properly and often
-Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, or cough and sneeze into their elbow
-Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
-Stay at home if they are sick to avoid spread of whatever infection they have.

For more information on COVID-19, click here.



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