21st Apr 2020
Chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, has said that as a country, Ireland has managed to “suppress the virus” but said this was no time for complacency
More than 9,000 people who tested positive for Covid-19 have successfully recovered from the disease, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has revealed on Tuesday evening.
Chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan described the recovery figures as encouraging but not surprising and in line with “the international picture.”
An analysis of 15,186 cases reveals that 8,377 (55%) have fully recovered from COVID-19 in the community, while 856 (6%) recovered and were discharged from hospital.
However, as a further 43 deaths were also reported today, the CMO said there was no room for complacency.
Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that 44 people diagnosed with #COVID19 in Ireland have died.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) April 21, 2020
“We are now in our eighth week since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Ireland. In that space of time we, as a country, have managed to suppress the virus in our community. As we move forward we must look to protecting our vulnerable populations and maintain the progress we have made so far. There is no room for complacency,” he said.
Some 37 people who died were in the east, two in the northwest, three in the south and two in the west. A total of 33 of the patients were reported as having underlying health conditions.
There have now been 730 Covid-19-related deaths confirmed by laboratory tests in the Republic. However, a further 108 probable or suspected deaths in care settings was reported by NPHET on Tuesday.
NPHET also reported 388 new confirmed cases. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 16,040.
Of the deaths that have occurred so far, half (363) occurred in hospital and 47 of these patients were admitted to ICU. Some 82 per cent had underlying conditions. The number of patients in intensive care dropped again, to 143, and 127 patients who were admitted to ICU have now been discharged.
Keep going with measures
He also said that it should not be a foregone conclusion that restrictions will be lifted on May 5th.
“We want to keep going with the measures that we have, to make further progress with this epidemic, we want to drive down the reproductive number as low as possible,” he continued.
“That we get the disease to a point whereby it is behaving in the ways that we want it to, as we approach the 5th of May that gives us an opportunity to consider, possibly lifting restrictions, but we’re not at a point yet where that’s the case.
“There can’t be any taking the foot off the gas, as we approach the 5th of May, because that’s simply going to contribute to further spread and is likely to impact our ability to be able to consider measures.”
In line with this, and according to The Irish Times, all gatherings of more than 5,000 people are set to be prohibited until late August or early September in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Dr Cillian De Gascun noted that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will discuss case definition and criteria for testing “soon.”
“We are currently seeing around a 20% positivity rate in tests, and we want to drive that down and want to find every case and test more.”
The turnaround time for testing from sampling to the laboratory now stands at 24-36 hours with the Irish backlog cleared.
There are 287 clusters of Covid-19 in residential settings, including 176 in nursing homes, where attention has now been turned to.
Main photograph: Unsplash
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