13 more deaths from COVID-19 in Republic

Further 402 cases also confirmed
  • Deborah Condon

A further 13 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus) have died in the Republic, bringing the total number of deaths here to 98.

Nine males and four females died and 10 of these had underlying health conditions. Their average age was 82.

Nine of the deaths occurred in the east, three in the west and one in the south.

A further 402 cases were also confirmed, bringing the total number of cases here to 3,849.

The Department of Health's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, noted that a more detailed ICU report is now available.

"Of 148 cases admitted to ICU, 25 of those cases have been discharged. But sadly, there have been 14 deaths from ICU and 109 remain in ICU. The average age of ICU admission is 62," he explained.

Mr Holohan had to attend hospital himself earlier this week after becoming unwell and he expressed concern about "a worrying scene" he witnessed there - empty waiting rooms and empty beds.

"While protecting yourself from COVID-19 is a priority, no one should ignore signs that they may need medical attention for other ailments such as lumps, chest pain or other concerns. Please do not ignore any symptom outside of COVID-19. The hospitals are there for all ailments, not just COVID-19," he insisted.

Meanwhile, data available from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows that of the 3,282 cases reported to it as of midnight on March 31, a total of 932 people had been hospitalised and there were 160 clusters of the virus nationwide involving 659 cases.

Overall, one in four cases involved healthcare workers and Dublin accounted for 56% of all cases (1,838).

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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