Six clusters of Covid-19 have now been found in Irish nursing homes, but families are still being urged to keep away from their loved ones.
That warning came from the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan as the number of deaths from Covid-19 in Ireland rose by 10 to 19 and the number of cases by 255 to 1,819. Today’s deaths were three females and seven males, nine in the east and one in the south.
Dr Holohan said that the planning scenario within the HSE was for a 1% mortality rate, adding that if cases continue to rise, so will deaths.
Dr Holohan said that the HSE is worried about the pattern of outbreaks in nursing homes and long-stay care facilities.
Dr Holohan said that most of the people who have died have died within either hospital ICU wards or within nursing homes and institutional facilities.
However, Dr Holohan reiterated that people would still need to keep their distance from loved ones who are in care settings.
"In some of those facilities, some of the practices of infection control are harder to implement and it creates a significant risk for individuals in those settings.
“As we’ve been saying all along – care for your loved one by staying away.”
Dr Holohan urged families to stay in contact with loved ones by other means – telephone, text and video calling.
Young people should not, however, get the impression that this illness is only affecting young people, Dr Holohan said, despite the median age of those who have died being 79.
He said that convincing people who saw themselves as low-risk that the illness was serious was “ongoing challenge”.
“Although this infection is more severe and has a greater impact on people who are older or have an underlying health condition, that does not mean that because you are young and healthy, this cannot affect you in a serious way.
"There are many, many reports of young people who are healthy, with no underlying medical conditions who have picked up this infection who have been hospitalised, who have had to be hospitalised, including into intensive care and even up to death.”
Ten more people have died from Covid-19, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has confirmed, bringing the total number to 19.
Of the 10, there were three female and seven males with nine based in the east of the country and one in the south.
It was also announced this evening that there are 255 more confirmed cases in the Republic, 1,819 overall. Fifty-five percent of the cases in the Republic are males.
Almost a quarter of the cases (321) are healthcare workers, figures from the National Public Health Emergency Team show.
There are also over 40 patients in ICUs across the country with the virus.
“We are only at the beginning of the curve," said Dr Holohan.
Earlier, three more deaths were confirmed in the North bringing their total to 10 as the number of confirmed cases on the island of Ireland surpasses 2,000.
Dublin has the most cases of Covid-19 in the country (56%), followed by Cork (11%).