A further 37 people with COVID-19 have died

78% of confirmed cases have recovered
  • Deborah Condon

A further 37 people with COVID-19 have died in the Republic.

One death that had previously been classed as a COVID death has been denotified, so the number of deaths now stands at 1,375.

A breakdown of these deaths shows that 45% occurred in hospital, with almost 5% occurring in ICU. Over 1,100 of these deaths occurred in people with underlying health conditions.

Meanwhile, 265 new cases of the virus have also been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases here to 22,248.

According to the Department of Health, 78% of people who have been diagnosed to date with the virus have recovered - that is over 18,500 people. The vast majority of these have recovered in the community.

"This is very welcome and in line with international experience, however the course of this disease in any one individual remains unpredictable. It is important that we are all aware of the risks and know how to prevent its spread," commented the department's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn.

The department's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, also highlighted that the World Health Organization had advised that a "likely future scenario in the dynamic of COVID-19 is recurring epidemic waves interspersed with periods of low-level transmission".

"This means that when Ireland eases social distancing restrictions, we may have periods of time when the numbers of people infected increases significantly.

"This is why it is vitally important that easing of social distancing restrictions is accompanied by a high level of adherence to the fundamental, individual behaviours needed to guard against transmission of the virus. We have to adapt our behaviours in order to live safely with COVID-19," Dr Holohan 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.

Current restrictions in relation to COVID-19 are now in place until May 18. 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 5km of your home.

All public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, while those over the age of 70 and medically vulnerable people, who are cocooning, can now leave their homes for exercise, as long as they stay within 5km of their home and maintain social distancing at all times.

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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