Another death from COVID-19 confirmed

204 new cases also
  • Deborah Condon

Another patient with COVID-19 (coronavirus) has died in the Republic, the Department of Health has confirmed.

This brings the total number of deaths here to seven.

The patient was a male in the east of the country with an underlying health condition.

Another 204 cases have also been confirmed this evening, bringing the total number of cases to 1,329.

Meanwhile two more patients with COVID-19 have also died in Northern Ireland, bringing the total number of deaths there to five.

As of midnight on March 23, 17,992 COVID-19 tests have been carried out in the Republic.

Meanwhile, data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has revealed that of the 965 cases reported to it as of midnight on March 22, the average age of confirmed cases was 45 years and 29% of overall cases have been hospitalised.

Of those hospitalised, 36 have been admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU).

Some 26% of cases overall involve healthcare workers and Dublin has the highest number of cases (535), followed by Cork (123) cases.

Earlier today, the Government announced more restrictions in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. For more on this, click here.

Commenting on the latest figures, the department's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said that we are now "in the crucial weeks of our response to COVID-19".

"All actions we take are based on epidemiological evidence and in proportion to our experience on this island. As we learn more about this disease, we are prioritising who will be tested. If you are not in a priority group, you might not be tested. However, if you have the symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself," he said.

Priority groups for testing include the close contacts of confirmed cases with symptoms, healthcare workers with symptoms, and vulnerable people with symptoms. Patients will have to display two major symptoms of the virus - a fever and either shortness of breath or a cough.

"Whether you are tested or not, the advice remains the same - if you have any symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself for 14 days to help stop the spread of this disease. Household contacts of a suspected case should restrict their contacts for 14 days," commented the department's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn.

Meanwhile, according to the HSE's chief clinical officer, Dr Colm Henry, 14,962 samples have been tested at the National Virus Reference Laboratory, of which 94% have returned negative.

"Ireland is following WHO advice to ‘test, test, test' and is in the top quartile in terms of the number of tests we have performed per capita. This, alongside physical distancing measures and intensive contact tracing, is deemed best practice internationally for dealing with this threat," he noted.

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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