A further 36 people have died from COVID-19

Highest daily death toll so far
  • Deborah Condon

Thirty-six more people with COVID-19 have died in the Republic, bringing the total number of deaths here to 210.

This is the highest number of deaths recorded here in one day.

Nineteen males and 17 females died and of these, 27 were in the east of the country, six in the north west and three in the south.

Twenty-four of these patients had underlying health conditions.

Of the 210 people who have died so far, 73% have died in a hospital setting and 77% have had underlying health conditions. Males have outnumbered females almost two to one, with 133 deaths among males compared to 77 among females.

Meanwhile, a further 345 new cases of the virus were also reported today, brining the total number of cases here to 5,709.

With the Easter holidays almost upon us, there have been reports of an increasing number of people being out and about. The Department of Health's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, expressed concern about this.

"The disease is still here. It still represents a risk to the population. There is still transmission of this disease happening in a way that gives us concern. The epidemic is growing day on day, albeit at levels lower than it was in the earlier stages.

"But we are not at a point yet where we think we are ready as a society to step back from the collective effort that we have had in place. We need to continue to see high levels of compliance with the measures that are in place," he insisted.

He added that he does not anticipate that the current measures in place will be lifted after Easter Sunday (April 12).

Earlier today, it was announced that a Memorandum of Understanding had formally been agreed between the Departments of Health for the Republic and Northern Ireland. This aims to "underpin and strengthen North-South co-operation on the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic".

The memorandum will focus on facilitating greater co-operation in a range of areas such as public health messaging, research, and programmes of behavioural change. Other areas will also be considered where this is of mutual benefit, such as procurement.

The memorandum has been agreed by the Ministers for Health, north and south, as well as the two chief medical officers.

"There has been significant engagement between the Ministers for Health, the chief medical officers, and the departments throughout this pandemic. This memorandum will ensure timely and responsive communications and decisions in a fast-moving environment - that both administrations will seek to adopt similar approaches where it is appropriate to do so, on the advice of respective chief medical officers.

"I want to thank my colleagues in Northern Ireland for their co-operation to date. This is a global pandemic. It knows no borders and we are all in this together. It is essential we continue to do everything we can across the island to fight this pandemic," commented the Minister for Health, Simon Harris.

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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