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Coronavirus update: All the main Covid-19 news from the weekend

by Jennifer McShane
29th Mar 2020

Here’s a roundup of all the main Covid-19 points over the last 48 hours

Coronavirus could ‘peak’ in mid-April

The HSE is predicting that the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in Ireland will occur in two weeks’ time, between the 10th and 14th of April. However, this is only based on current data and is subject to change. The health service continues to urge everyone to stick to the new restrictions announced on Friday, to help stop the spread. Speaking from Citywest Hotel and Conference Centre where a new isolation and step-down centre will come into operation this coming week, COO Anne O’Connor told the media: “I don’t think that any of us can say exactly when the peak is going to be,” she said. “We are certainly working towards a peak in mid-April, so certainly towards the next two to three weeks and that is what we are planning for but clearly we don’t know. We do have to work on some basis when it comes to planning and we are planning for a peak between the 1oth and 14th April, around that time.”

The hotel will have the capacity for more than 1,000 people. It is the first of a number of such facilities planned, with the HSE also examining sites in Cork, Limerick and Galway.

Irish tourists in Peru return home

The Irish tourists who couldn’t leave Peru due to the South American country being on lockdown are returning home, Táiniste Simon Coveney has said. Mr Coveney said that the flight has left the capital city Lima as “work continues to get all remaining citizens home” amid Covid-19 pandemic. The Minister for Foreign Affairs also revealed that people from over a dozen other EU countries are also returning home as they continue to get all citizens back on Irish shores due to the pandemic.

15-years worth of PPE for frontline staff

The first Aer Lingus flight to China to collect a batch of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the Irish health service arrived in Dublin on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday, Minister for Health Simon Harris said the flight was the first of upwards of 10 flights carrying PPE, including surgical masks, gowns and eye shields for health service workers. More than €225 million had been spent on PPE – compared with €15 million in a normal year, he said on Saturday evening. HSE CEO Paul Reid confirmed that the HSE had secured 15-years worth of PPE which would continue to arrive in Dublin over the coming days.

Latest Covid-19 figures 

On Sunday night, it was announced that a further 10 people have died as a result of the coronavirus, bringing the death toll in the Republic to 46. There have been a further 200 confirmed cases, bringing to 2,615 the number of known cases of Covid-19 in the country. Six deaths were located in the east, 3 in the northwest, and 1 in the south of the country. The median age of today’s reported deaths is 77. “While we continue to build ICU capacity, our strategy aims to prevent people from needing intensive care in the first place,” said chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan. “We know the virus will not survive if we prevent it from passing among ourselves. The enhanced restrictions announced on Friday aim to slow down and restrict the spread of the virus.

Main photograph: Unsplash