Coronavirus: Further 430 cases reported in State is most in a day since April

Glynn urges public to reduce contacts, with 212 more cases in Dublin and 54 in Cork

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting Chief Medical Officer. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting Chief Medical Officer. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

 

A further 430 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State, while no additional deaths were reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on Sunday.

It is the highest number of cases in a day since 701 were reported, on April 26th.

Dublin had the highest number of cases at 212. Cork had 54, and Donegal and Galway each had 23. There were 16 cases in Louth, 15 in Monaghan, 12 each in Clare and Meath, nine in Cavan, eight in Roscommon, seven in Wicklow, six in Limerick, and five each in Kildare and Tipperary. The remaining 23 cases were spread across nine counties.

To date, a total of 34,990 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Ireland since late February, while the total number of deaths now stands at 1,802.

Men account for 222 of Sunday’s cases, while women account for 208. People under the age of 45 account for 72 per cent of the cases.

Outbreaks or close contacts of a confirmed case account for 40 per cent of cases, while 59 have been identified as examples of community transmission.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said the situation would worsen unless people made plans to reduce their contacts.

“As we start into this new week, I am asking every household across the country to sit together this evening and make a plan to reduce the number of people you meet this week,” he said.

“We have absolutely no room for complacency. If every person, family, workplace and organisation does not play their part the situation will continue to deteriorate.”

He made a particular appeal for vigilance on the part of those living in Dublin and Donegal.

“For people who live in Donegal and Dublin, remember, Government advice is to work from home unless it is essential to attend in person. For people living in these and all other counties, assume that Covid-19 is circulating in your community, and act accordingly.”

‘Cautiously optimistic’

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said he and the acting Chief Medical Officer are “cautiously optimistic” about how Dublin is faring with Level 3 restrictions, but “it is very early days” yet.

He said they needed the seven-day incidence rate of the virus to be less than half the 14-day rate.

Currently, the 14-day rate is 147 cases per 100,000 of the population, while the seven-day rate is 78 per 100,000.

“We want to see that seven-day rate at less than half the 14-day rate.”

Dublin is on the 10th day of three weeks of Level 3 restrictions, which the Government had warned could be extended if the spread of the virus could not be contained.

He said there were no plans for any emergency meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) in advance of its weekly meeting on Thursday. However,it was looking closely at four other counties – Cork, Galway, Louth and his own constituency of Wicklow.

Northeast Kildare, he added, is up to a rate of 330 cases per 100,000, which is about four times the national average. This was demonstrated on the publicly available data hub for Covid-19, the map for every electoral area, which shows where the virus is spreading.

Mr Donnelly said on RTÉ’s This Week programme that they needed the reproduction or R rate of the virus, the rate at which those infected transmit it to others, to be below one. The rate is currently at between 1.5 and 1.6, he said.

The Minister said that “we have 110 people in hospital and 18 people in intensive care” with the coronavirus.

He stressed that the State would continue to do everything it can, but said the most powerful message was to “think of all the people you’re planning to meet this week and halve that number”.

Questioned about the Government’s effectiveness in getting its message across about house parties and other private gatherings, Mr Donnelly said the “vast majority” of people were adhering to the regulations.

He said there were incidences of house parties and gatherings that exceeded the rules, but that “it’s not the norm”. Such events were highlighted because they were available for everyone to see on social media.

“The evidence we have is that the vast majority of people are doing the right thing,” he added.

He said the recent lockdown in Kildare, Laois and Offaly showed that “when we move early”, progress is made.

Mr Donnelly said the authorities were very concerned about bed numbers, with some hospitals already nearly full. He said that was why they had introduced the winter plan two months early with provision for almost 600 extra emergency beds and additional investment in community supports to keep people at home.

He added that the HSE is negotiating with each private hospital individually for services. They are looking for “surge capacity” and additional capacity to treat public patients in the private hospitals.

Earlier, infectious diseases consultant Prof Sam McConkey said Government restrictions on movement might not be needed if people changed their behaviour voluntarily to combat the spread of Covid-19, “I think if people in Cork, where it’s rising, were to change their socialising voluntarily for two or four weeks, “ then “you wouldn’t need legislation and rigidly enforced heavy-handed restrictions”.