Coronavirus: 525 new cases and three further deaths as 19,228 more vaccines given

HSE to begin vaccination of people between ages 16 and 69 with serious illnesses

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

 

There were 525 new cases and three further deaths reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on Sunday.

One of these deaths occured in March and one occured in January. This brings to 4,422 the total number of people in the State who have died with Covid-19, while the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 223,219.

The median age of the cases confirmed on Sunday was 31. Counties Leitrim and Cavan reported no further cases, while there were fewer than five in counties Monaghan, Roscommon, Kilkenny and Sligo. Dublin recorded 214 further cases, Meath added 37, and Offaly and Limerick each recorded 28 new cases.

The national 14-day incidence rate stands at 172.3 cases per 100,000 of the population. Co Cork has the lowest 14-day rate, at 57.1 cases per 100,000 residents, while Longford tops the table with a rate of 381.7. An average of 520 cases has been recorded daily over the last five days.

The latest official vaccine figures show that 19,228 more vaccine doses were given since totals released yesterday. The figures of 346,256 first doses, 147,617 second doses and 493,873 total doses are up to Thursday March 4th.

However Taoiseach Micheal Martin on Saturday confirmed that doses administered had passed the half a million milestone.

There were 423 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in the Republic on Sunday morning, of which 103 were in ICU, according to the latest Health Service Executive (HSE) figures.

Northern Ireland

Meanwhile the North’s Department of Health recorded seven coronavirus deaths over Saturday and Sunday taking the death toll in Northern Ireland to 2,075.

It reported four deaths in its Saturday afternoon daily bulletin and three deaths on Sunday. There were 17 Covid-19 deaths in the past seven days.

The department over the weekend also recorded 310 new positive cases of coronavirus – 172 on Saturday, 138 on Sunday – taking the total number of confirmed cases to 113,645.

Hospital bed occupancy is now at 88 per cent. There are 227 patients receiving coronavirus treatment in Northern Ireland hospitals with 33 in intensive care and 24 on ventilators.

Vaccinations

The HSE will this week start the vaccination of people between ages 16 and 69 with serious illnesses, chief executive Paul Reid said on Sunday.

He said about 10,000 people in this category will get the Covid-19 vaccine as part of the initial process this week.

Mr Reid said overall there could be a very high number of people in the serious illness category – potentially up to 150,000. He said the HSE had started a process of identifying the individuals concerned.

The HSE chief told RTÉ’s “This Week” programme on Sunday that overall the three current vaccine providers had given commitments to supply collectively 1.2 million doses by the end of the first quarter.

However, he said about 200,000 doses were scheduled to arrive on the final day or so of the month.

The HSE advised family doctors this weekend they may not receive all the supply anticipated for patients in the over-80 age cohort this week. This is due to changes in the supply line of the Moderna vaccine.

However, the HSE maintained the shortfall will be made up in the weeks ahead.

The HSE told GPs on Saturday night it was still expected the vaccination of all people in the community aged over 70 would be completed on schedule by mid May.