Coronavirus: 200 new cases reported in largest daily total since May
Multiple clusters with secondary spread of disease deeply concerning - Glynn
Some 25 cases have been identified as community transmission, with 68 per cent of cases among those under 45 years of age. File photograph: Alan Betson
There have been 200 new cases of Covid-19 reported on Saturday , the Department of Health has confirmed.
It brings to 27,191 the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the State.
No new deaths were reported. A total of 1,774 people have died of the disease.
It is the largest number of cases reported in a single day since the beginning of May.
Dr Ronan Glynn, the acting chief medical officer, said the situation facing the country is “deeply concerning”.
The Republic now has “multiple clusters with secondary spread of disease and rising numbers of cases in many parts of the country,” he said, adding the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will “monitor this extremely closely over the coming days”.
Some 25 cases have been identified as community transmission, with 68 per cent of cases among those under 45 years of age. Sixty-eight of the cases are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case.
Of the new cases, 81 are in Kildare, 56 are in Dublin, and 13 are in Tipperary, where a mushroom facility was closed on Friday following an outbreak among staff at Walsh’s mushrooms in Golden, near Cashel.
The HSE has set up a testing facility in the town.
“This virus is still out there and has not gone away. Covid-19 seeks to capitalise on complacency and is just waiting for the opportunity to spread. I am asking everyone, especially those who are over 70 or medically vulnerable, to limit your contacts, keep your distance from other people and take extra care to heed public health advice,” Dr Glynn said.
Eight cases were recorded in Limerick, six in Laois and Galway, and five each in Meath and Kilkenny. The remaining 20 cases are in Carlow, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Louth, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, Waterford and Wicklow.
Validation of data has led to the denotification of four confirmed cases.
The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said a number of our EU neighbours are also experiencing an uptick in cases. “The virus capitalises on complacency. Please redouble your efforts on handwashing, physical distancing and reduce your contacts,” he urged in a message on Twitter.
He said the spike in cases in young people is a real concern. “They can get very sick, but do so less frequently than older people. But young people can transmit the virus to anyone. The decisions you make about who you meet and where you go are hugely important,” he said.
“It may not be your life but your choices could be the difference between life and death for someone else - someone you love. Remember that most people are susceptible to this virus,” he added.
The HSE’s CEO Paul Reid said the number of cases on Saturday was a concern but people should hold firm.
Meanwhile the number of confirmed and suspected cases of Covid-19 in the hospital system continued to remain steady at the end of the week, new figures released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) show.
As of 8pm on Friday evening, there was a total of 14 confirmed cases admitted to hospitals, and a further 136 suspected cases across 29 acute hospitals monitored by the health service. This is an increase of one confirmed case and a decrease of two suspected cases when compared to the same time the previous day.
When compared with the same time last week, it is an increase of two confirmed cases and 24 suspected cases.
There are currently 308 vacant general beds, excluding critical care beds, across the hospital system. Some 33 adult critical care beds are available, in addition to six paediatric beds and 15 critical care beds in the private system.
A total of 284 critical care beds are occupied, including eight occupied by Covid-19 patients. A further nine patients with suspected cases of Covid-19 are in critical care beds. Five confirmed cases are ventilated, as well as three suspected cases.
The latest data on contact tracing shows the average time taken from referral for a test to obtaining a lab result is two days. This is a slight increase on the same day last week, when the process was being completed in 1.8 days.
The average time to complete contact tracing calls is 1.8 days, an increase on last week’s figure of 1.2 days.
Earlier, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland reported a further 65 diagnoses of Covid-19 there on Saturday. The total number of cases in the region is now 6,364; there were no further deaths linked to the disease, with the toll remaining at 558.
Some 173,227 individuals have been tested in the six counties, with 289 positive tests in the last seven days.