Coronavirus: 30 further deaths and 311 more cases confirmed

Taoiseach ‘disappointed’ with issues in vaccine rollout but ‘good progress’ is being made

A further 30 additional deaths related to Covid-19 have been reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Twelve of deaths occurred in March, 13 in February, four in January and one is under investigation.

There has now been a total of 4,452 Covid-19 related deaths in Republic.

A further 311 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have also been notified, bringing to 223,957 the total number of confirmed cases since the pandemic began.


As of 8am on Tuesday, 397 Covid-19 patients were in hospital, of which 95 were in ICU. There were 24 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Latest figures on vaccinations shows that as of last Saturday, 523,069 doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been administered in the State.

Some 373,149 people had received their first dose and 149,920 people had received their second dose.

Earlier, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government was “disappointed” with issues that had arisen in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in the first three months of the year, but he insisted there has been “very good progress” in protecting the most vulnerable.

Mr Martin also said that British prime minister Boris Johnson has made it clear to him that the UK's priority was to vaccinate their own people before giving doses to any other countries.

The Irish Times reported on Tuesday that Ireland is set to receive less than half the deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines it originally expected in the first three months of the year, as supply issues continue to impede the State's vaccination programme.

Almost 1.7 million vaccines would be delivered to Ireland in the first quarter of the year, the high-level taskforce on Covid-19 vaccination forecast in early January.

By the end of February, 520,000 doses had been supplied, and total deliveries at the end of March are not expected to exceed 850,000 doses.

In remarks ahead of Tuesday morning’s Cabinet meeting, Mr Martin said: “We’re disappointed with quarter 1 in terms of some of the issues, but in terms of protecting the most vulnerable we’ve made very good progress on that.”

He said the impact of the vaccines is “very positive in terms of frontline healthcare workers, hospitals and nursing homes in particular and now out in the community in the over-80s. So that’s good news.”

Mr Martin also said: "In relation to the United Kingdom the British prime minister has made it clear to me that obviously his first priority is it vaccinate his people.

“He obviously would be very helpful to Ireland if the situation arose but right now he has to concentrate on vaccinating his own people and until then he won’t be in a position to give vaccines to anybody and he’s made that point to me which I think was fairly obvious at the outset in any event.”


The Taoiseach also spoke of how the Government will take advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) in the week leading up to April 5th, the earliest date when the current Covid-19 restrictions may be eased.

He told RTÉ News the Government will “concentrate on areas that we’ve already identified in terms of the sporting outdoor activity... that we indicated we would be looking at.”

Mr Martin added: “It will depend where the numbers are but we are making progress as a country and I just want to say that to people, their adherence to the regulations does matter, particularly in the context of the variant.

“It is bearing fruit. We are taking the pressure off the frontline healthcare workers very significantly now, have been doing that over the last number of weeks and we will continue to do that throughout March.

“And we will be in a better position then before the 5th of April to make informed decisions.”

Catholic bishops said on Tuesday they were urging church members to lobby their TDs over Covid-related restrictions on Masses, saying limits on public worship should be “proportionate and for the shortest time possible”.

In a statement, Ireland’s four Catholic Archbishops requested an immediate increase in the number of people permitted at funerals and a return to regular church services once Level 5 restrictions begin to ease.

However, in keeping with public health guidance, they have recommended the postponement of the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies “for the time being”.

In a statement, they said: “Despite assurances from the Taoiseach last month that the concerns expressed by the Archbishops would be given serious consideration, we note with disappointment that none of the issues raised has been responded to.”

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times