Coronavirus: No further deaths reported as doctor warns second wave ‘weeks away’
NPHET records 18 new confirmed cases bringing total in Republic to 25,527
People out and about in Dublin city centre on Sunday. Photograph: Collins
The Department of Health reported no additional deaths from coronavirus and 18 confirmed new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday.
This is the fifth day of no reported daily deaths since the wave of infections peaked in mid-April and the first this month. The death toll remains at 1,741.
The 18 new cases, the highest number of daily new infections in six days, brings the total number of known cases in the State to 25,527.
The HSE has said that it was working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
The Government’s latest figures on Covid-19 show that there were three admissions of infected people to hospital and one admission to a hospital intensive care unit in the last 24 hours. One infected person was discharged from hospital.
There were 22 cases of the disease in hospital and 11 confirmed cases in ICUs.
The number of clusters – each defined as two cases or more – in private houses stands at 1,070, including 718 in the east of the country, according to the latest Health Protection Surveillance Centre daily report on the disease. The bulk of these outbreaks occurred in March and April.
Meanwhile, a doctor has said he believes the country is “weeks away” from a second wave of coronavirus after witnessing large crowds gathered outside pubs in Dublin city centre on Saturday night.
Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail, the former president of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), said the city centre felt like “All Ireland football final night” and found it “profoundly upsetting” to see the streets packed with people.
Dr Ó Tuathail finished working with the ambulance service at 10pm on Saturday and decided to drive through the city after hearing from colleagues that “town was mobbed”.
“The best way I could describe it was it felt like All Ireland football final night and it felt like Dublin had won, that was the vibe in Dublin city last night, it was just completely rammed,” he told the Brendan O’Connor show on RTÉ Radio One on Sunday.
“There were guards everywhere and they were doing their best but it was just completely rammed.”
Dr Ó Tuathail said there was “a festival atmosphere” in the city centre and it felt like “a slap in the face to those that have broken their backs trying to keep the country working over the last three months”.
“I really felt that way and it was really anxiety inducing. Those on the front line have been psychologically traumatised by what they have experienced over the last three months and they’re just not ready to face into it again,” he added.
“After last night I really think we’re weeks away from a second wave and my colleagues on the front line are just not ready for it psychologically.”
Dr Ó Tuathail said he was not trying to be “a killjoy” and that his own father was a publican in Co Galway who had been planning for the last two months how to reopen his own bar.
“I’m as keen as the rest of us to go and have a pint in my local but the vast majority of pubs will do this safely but it’s the few that won’t that will ruin it for the rest of us and the rest of the industry,” he said.
Dr Ó Tuathail also said the risks associated with foreign travel were “huge” and urged holidaymakers to stay in Ireland this summer rather than go abroad.
“It’s very simple in my mind, what we’re asking people to do is sacrifice one summer holiday abroad this year and to put their country and their loved ones before themselves for once. That’s all we’re asking people to do,” he said.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. I think you would be completely bananas, to put it mildly, to go on holidays abroad this year.”