A further 25 people with COVID-19 have died

Eighteen had underlying health conditions
  • Deborah Condon

A further 25 people with COVID-19 have died in the Republic, bringing the total number of deaths here to 235.

A further five patients have also died in Northern Ireland, bringing its total number of deaths to 78, and the all-Ireland total to 313.

Of the deaths in the Republic, 13 were located in the east of the country, eight in the north, two in the south and two in the west. Fifteen males and 10 females died, and 18 of them had underlying health conditions.

A further 365 new cases of the virus have also been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases here to 6,074.

Data available from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has revealed that of the 5,981 cases reported to it as of midnight on April 6, there were 299 clusters of the virus, involving 1,288 cases.

A total of 1,472 people had been hospitalised and of these, 224 had been admitted to ICU.

Some 1,568 cases of the virus were associated with healthcare workers.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) noted that the latest guidance from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) considers the risk of severe disease associated with COVID-19 in the EU and UK as moderate for the general population, but very high for vulnerable groups.

The ECDC also advised that it is currently too early to start lifting community and physical distancing measures. It said that member states should continue to adopt a public health-based approach of testing and contact tracing.

"Ireland continues to follow ECDC guidance with regards to testing, contact tracing and the implementation of community measures, such as physical distancing and cocooning. This is the most effective way we have of slowing down the spread of this virus and saving lives.

"Our public health guidance is under constant review and NPHET will meet again on Friday morning to review the impact of ongoing measures," commented the Department of Health's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan.

The department's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, also pointed out that the ECDC has said that the probability of the continued spread of COVID-19 "is very high".

"The risk of exceeding the capacity of the health system remains high, even in countries like Ireland where significant public health restrictions have been put in place.

"It is for these reasons that we continue to ask people to stay at home and to follow public health advice. While we know these measures are difficult, especially as we approach a sunny, bank holiday weekend, the efforts we are seeing from the public are having an impact and making a real difference," he said.

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, although this is expected to be extended. As part of these restrictions, 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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