14 more deaths from COVID-19 in Republic

Most people support social distancing measures
  • Deborah Condon

A further 14 patients with COVID-19 (coronavirus) have died in the Republic, bringing the total number of deaths here to 85.

Two more deaths have also occurred in Northern Ireland, bringing its total to 30, and the all-Ireland total to 115.

According to the Department of Health, the 14 deaths here involved seven men and seven women. Ten of these deaths occurred in the east and four in the south.

Eight of the patients had underlying health conditions and the average age of those who died was 82.

Some 212 new cases of the virus were also confirmed today, bringing the total number of cases in the Republic to 3,447.

Research conducted on behalf of the department today revealed that 89% of people believe that current social distancing measures are appropriate, while 94% are confident in their ability to adhere to the new restrictions.

Some 65% said they are engaging in digital interactions with their family and friends.

"Our research suggests that one in three people are worried about their health, with three out of four worried about the health of their families and friends, but people are taking action to look after their wellbeing. Two-thirds of people are conversing with family and friend's by using phone and internet.

"Restrictions do not mean you stop maintaining your relationships or your health. Adapt your hobbies - go for walks, exercise and do the things that maintain wellbeing within the limits of physical distancing and public health advice," commented the department's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn.

Earlier today, the HSE apologised to people who are waiting for test results and said that it is trying to improve turnaround times.

Meanwhile, to all those waiting on tests, Dr Colm Henry, the HSE's chief clinical officer, said that the public health messaging remains the same.

"Assume you have COVID-19 and isolate. Each and everyone of you can break the chain of transmission of the virus, save lives and reduce illness among vulnerable groups," he commented.

Data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows that of the 2,990 cases reported to it as of March 30, 834 people had been hospitalised and of these, 126 people had been admitted to ICU.

Meanwhile, there were 134 clusters of cases involving 563 patients.

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 fever, a persistent cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

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.

New restrictions in relation to COVID-19 are now in place until April 12. Until then, everybody is being asked to stay at home, except in specific circumstances. These include:
-Travelling to and from work in circumstances where the work is an essential health, social care or other essential service that cannot be done from home
-To shop for essential food and household goods
-To attend medical appointments
-For vital family reasons, such as caring for children or elderly people
-To take brief individual exercise within your locality, which may include children from your household, however this should be within 2km of your home.

All public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.

Those over the age of 70 and medically vulnerable people are also being cocooned. For more information on this, click here.

ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, is running a national support line for older people facing difficulties due to COVID-19. The support line is open every day from 8am to 8pm, call 0818 222 024.

For more information on COVID-19, click here.


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