A further 16 people with COVID-19 have died

Progress is "really fragile" - Harris
  • Deborah Condon

A further 16 people with COVID-19 have died in the Republic, the lowest number of daily deaths reported in over a month.

The number of deaths overall now stands at 1,319.

A further 266 new cases of the virus have also been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases to 21,772.

Data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows that of the 21,437 cases reported to it as of midnight on May 2, 2,840 cases have been hospitalised and of these, 364 have been admitted to ICU.

Among those hospitalised, almost 54% are over the age of 65, while 28% are aged between 45 and 64.

Some 6,211 cases of the virus involve healthcare workers.

Speaking earlier today, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said that Ireland's progress is "really fragile".

"Despite the relative success we have had in this country compared to where we could have been, we have still seen over 1,300 of our people die. And despite the fact that we are seeing our ICU numbers thankfully falling, there are still 93 people seriously ill in intensive care today.

"We are making progress but the progress is really fragile. The best chance this plan has of success is to use these two weeks (until May 18) to make this virus as weak as possible," Minister Harris commented.

He said that over the next two weeks, we need to "really drive down the number of new cases", and see the ICU and hospital numbers come down as well.

"If we do that, when we start our plan on the 18th, we have a good chance of moving forward with it. If we don't, we will find ourselves in a very difficult position," he added.

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.

The current restrictions in relation to COVID-19 are now in place until May 18. As part of these restrictions, everybody is 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. From May 5, people can exercise within 5km of their 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 continue to be cocooned, however from May 5, those over the age of 70 can leave their home for exercise, as long as they stay within 5km of their home and socially distance themselves from everybody.

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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