Coronavirus: 18 more people die of Covid-19 in the State

Simon Harris urges people to ‘stay the course’ as number of patients in ICU falls further

An infection control nurse looks out from a Covid-19 recovery ward at Craigavon Area Hospital in Co Armagh, Northern Ireland. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Eighteen more people have died of coronavirus in the State, as the number of confirmed cases increased by 219, according to figures published on Saturday.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 1,446, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

There have been 22,760 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Republic.

Analysis of 22,495 known cases up to Thursday by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows the median age of those who contracted the virus is 49.


Women make up 57 per cent of reported cases, with men the remaining 43 per cent.

Some 2,954 people have been hospitalised after contracting the virus, 13 per cent of known cases. Of patients who required hospitalisation, 381 were admitted into intensive care.

Dublin still accounts for nearly half of all cases, with 10,948 in the county, followed by Kildare with 6 per cent of cases (1,317) and then Cork with 1,205, representing 5 per cent of the national total.

Some 6,669 confirmed Covid-19 cases are associated with healthcare workers.

Community transmission

In cases where health officials could establish how the virus was contracted, community transmission accounted for 61 per cent of cases. This was followed by close contact with a Covid-19 patient (35 per cent), and travel abroad (3 per cent).

Another four Covid-19-related deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health there said. The latest figure brings total fatalities from the coronavirus outbreak in the North to 430. A further 56 positive cases have been diagnosed there, bringing its total of confirmed cases to 4,078.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said on Saturday that the number of Covid-19 patients being treated in the State's ICUs has fallen further.

In a tweet, Mr Harris confirmed that the number of patients infected with the novel coronavirus being treated in intensive care has fallen to 72, down from 76 on Friday and 99 last Saturday.

He said this constituted “good progress”, while also urging people to “stay the course” of maintaining safe practices during the pandemic.

A total of 378 people with Covid-19 have been admitted to intensive care during the outbreak.

On Friday, the NPHET announced that 10 outbreaks of Covid-19 have occurred in meat processing plants in the State, and 566 staff have been infected.

HSE outbreak control teams have been sent into each plant to try to control the outbreaks, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said at the briefing.

Compliance with restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the virus remains very high, according to Dr Holohan, who presented a variety of data on car traffic, heavy goods vehicle movements, public transport numbers, ATM usage and personal activity, as measured by Google.

“All together, this data says the population is complying very well and that this compliance is being maintained,” he said.

Direct provision

Consideration is being given to testing all residents of direct provision centres, where 149 cases in 12 clusters have been reported, Dr Holohan said.

Any asylum-seeker in direct provision who has Covid-19 and is unable to self-isolate is entitled to use the isolation facility at Citywest, officials clarified.

Dr Holohan said he hoped to see schools resuming activity in the autumn “if things go well for us”, but “it is impossible to make certain predictions about where we will be at the beginning of September”.

NPHET was still considering whether a reopening of schools would be full or partial at first, he added.

A breakdown of the instance of the virus among older age groups provided for the first time shows that over-85s account for 10.2 per cent of all coronavirus cases, and 45.6 per cent of deaths.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times