A further 17 patients with COVID-19 have died in Ireland, bringing the total number of deaths here to 137.
Thirteen males and four females died, with 15 of these deaths located in the east of the country, one in the south and one in the west.
Thirteen of the patients were reported as having underlying health conditions and the average age of those who died was 81.
A further 331 new cases of the virus have also been confirmed, brining the total number of cases here to 4,604.
According to the Department of Health's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, the response to COVID-19 in nursing homes and long-term residential facilities "remains a priority for our focused attention and we will continue to monitor the rate of infection within these environments and support the sector through this outbreak".
Earlier today, the department announced new measures to support nursing homes, including the twice daily screening of staff, and financial support for homes managing an outbreak of the virus. (For more on this, see here.)
Data available to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows that of the 4,014 cases reported to it as of April 2, there were 206 clusters involving 838 cases, and the average age of confirmed cases was 48 years.
Some 1,118 people had been hospitalised and of these, 158 had been admitted to ICU.
Meanwhile, healthcare workers accounted for 27% (1,118) of all cases.
"The nationwide, collective effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 has been inspiring. We must keep up this effort, continue to protect the vulnerable in our society and ultimately flatten the curve," Dr Holohan added.
In the UK, a further 708 people with COVID-19 have died, bringing its total number of deaths to 4,313. Over 2,500 of these deaths have occurred in the last four days alone.
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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