Six further deaths and 269 new Covid-19 cases reported this evening

Demand for services grows as lockdown sees more addicts and loved ones seek advice

Testing for Covid-19 at UZ Leuven university hospital in Leuven, Belgium. File photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

Testing for Covid-19 at UZ Leuven university hospital in Leuven, Belgium. File photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

 

Six further deaths and 269 new Covid-19 cases have been reported this evening by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

There have now been a total of 2,033 Covid-19 related deaths and a total of 71,187 confirmed coronavirus cases in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today 123 are men and 146 are women, while 64 per cent are under 45 years of age.

The median age is 35 years old. Of the new cases, 88 are in Dublin; 42 in Cork; 25 in Limerick; 20 in Louth; 16 in Donegal, and the remaining 78 spread across 17 other counties.

As of 2pm today, 260 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, and 36 of them are in ICU. There have been 23 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Coolmine Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centre handled 500 extra calls a month over the summer which were directly linked to issues caused by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Pauline McKeown, chief executive of the centre, said the demand for its range of services will continue to grow and that Covid-19 had “contributed to this growth”.

“During the summer, Coolmine managed an extra 18 calls every day, over 500 a month, from people seeking advice and help for addictions.These calls were directly related to issues caused by Covid-19 lockdown,” Ms McKeown said.

“Some were individuals who realised, during this period, that they had drug or alcohol addiction problems. Other calls came from loved ones who first experienced their partners’ addiction issues while they were living and working from home. This highlights the need for additional resources for those coming out of lockdown with addiction and mental health issues.”

Coolmine published its annual report on Wednesday, which said over 9,200 people and their families impacted by addiction were supported last year.

Its support services, located in seven sites, included 8,236 medical assessments, 672 psychiatric reviews, 117 housing outcomes and 117 employment/education outcomes.

The Coolmine outreach services provided over 1,600 pre-entry group support placements and referral interventions to 983 individuals. Fifty clients were supported in its Traveller and new communities assertive outreach service in the north Dublin regional drug and alcohol task force area.