Coronavirus: 39 more deaths confirmed in the Republic, with 493 new cases

One further death recorded in Northern Ireland as death toll there rises to 194

A cyclist passes by a bus stop with a public health warning on Covid-19 in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

A cyclist passes by a bus stop with a public health warning on Covid-19 in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

 

Another 39 people have died from Covid-19 in the Republic, while there has been a further 493 confirmed cases of the virus, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has said.

There have now been 610 Covid-19-related deaths in the State, while the number of confirmed cases stands at 15,251.

In terms of the new cases, 445 were confirmed by Irish laboratories, while another 48 cases here were reported by a laboratory in Germany.

Of the latest deaths, 37 were located in the east of the country and two in the west. They included 19 women and 20 men.

The median age of Sunday’s reported deaths is 84, while 29 of those who died were reported as having an underlying health condition.

A summary of all 610 deaths provided by the HPSC shows that 346, or 57 per cent, of those who died were men, while 264 were women.

Their age range is 23-105 years, while the median age of those who have died is 83. Some 337 of these fatal cases were admitted to hospital, with 46 were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU).

In terms of the new confirmed cases, the HSE said it is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

According to HPSC data, as of Friday the median age of confirmed cases is 48, while 2,223 cases have seen hospitalisation. Of those hospitalised, 303 cases have been admitted to ICU. Some 3,788 cases are associated with healthcare workers.

Dublin has the highest number of cases at 7,379, or about half of all cases, followed by Cork with 1,028 cases, the data states.

Of those for whom transmission status is known, community transmission accounts for 63 per cent of cases, close contact accounts for 32 per cent, while travel abroad accounts for 5 per cent.

Northern Ireland

Also on Sunday, figures released by Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency (PHA) showed that one person has died in hospital and 159 more have tested positive for coronavirus in the North in the last 24 hours.

A total of 194 people with the novel coronavirus known as Covid-19 have now died in hospital in Northern Ireland.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the North now stands at 2,645, with a total of 16,490 tests carried out. Almost 800 tests have been carried out in the last 24 hours.

Seventeen further deaths were recorded by the PHA on Saturday.

Modelling estimates by the North’s Department of Health (DoH) had predicted that Northern Ireland would experience the peak of the coronavirus outbreak between April 6th and 20th.

On Thursday the chief scientific adviser at the DoH, Prof Ian Young, said the North was “at, or very close to” the peak, but might continue to see a rise in deaths for another week.

‘Modern-day piracy’

Also on Sunday, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said there is “modern-day piracy” going on in the sourcing and purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE) worldwide.

Speaking at a briefing at UCD, Mr Reid said PPE was like gold dust internationally and “you find when stock is secured, somebody is outbidding you at the delivery stage”.

However, he said the €210 million order that the HSE has put in to source PPE and ventilators, mostly in China, was a “reasonable price” to pay and the organisation had not been outbid or denied the necessary equipment.

The HSE said it had tested 4,000 healthcare workers and residents in nursing homes over the weekend for Covid-19. Mr Reid said there was now a “very significant ramp-up” of testing in nursing homes, where there are currently 248 separate suspected outbreaks.

The HSE has also eliminated the backlog of people waiting for coronavirus tests. The 27 laboratories used to process the tests, one of which is in Germany, are now processing 10,000 test results a day.

Meanwhile, it emerged that health authorities are to examine the potential of reopening primary schools on a limited basis, such as one day a week, in the summer.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said officials will closely monitor the experience of other countries such as Denmark, which reopened its primary schools last week.