22 more deaths from COVID-19 in the Republic

168 deaths so far on the island of Ireland
  • Deborah Condon

A further 22 patients with COVID-19 have died in the Republic - the highest daily death toll recorded here so far.

Eleven men and 11 women died and 18 of these deaths were located in the east. Another three were in the south and one was in the west.

Sixteen of the 22 patients were reported as having underlying health conditions and the average age of those who died was 80.

There have now been 120 COVID-19-related deaths in the Republic, and 168 on the island of Ireland.

A further 424 new cases of the virus were also confirmed in the Republic today, bringing the total number of cases here to 4,273.

According to the Department of Health's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is concerned with the number of clusters identified in nursing homes.

"We have identified a range of measures, working with the HSE. We need to see continuous actions being taken to reduce the risk of transmission in nursing homes and long-term residential facilities," he said.

Meanwhile the department's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, noted that we are now facing into the end of week one of new measures and it has been "a tough adjustment".

"But these efforts save lives. We will continue to protect vulnerable groups against this virus, by staying home and following public health advice.

"Anyone over 70 years of age should remain cocooned as per public health advice, and for essential food and prescription shopping, call on family, friends or services to help you. Over 70's should not be leaving home," he said.

The HSE's clinical chief officer, Dr Colm Henry, noted that there is now "a clear picture of more severe illness in older people".

"This underlines the importance of our advice on cocooning and requires all of us to support any vulnerable people who find themselves in isolation," 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 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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