Coronavirus: Three more cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Ireland

Coronavirus: Three more cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Ireland
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, during a media update following a meeting of the Cabinet Subcommittee on Covid-19 at Government Buildings, Dublin. Picture: Collins

There are three more confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, the Department of Health has announced.

All three cases are associated with close contact with a confirmed case.

The cases are:

  • A female in the south of the country
  • A female in the west of the country
  • A female in the south of the country, who is a healthcare worker.

It brings to 24 the number of confirmed cases in Ireland.

Commenting, Dr Tony Holohan said: "While Ireland remains in a containment phase, we will eventually move to delay phase and then on to mitigation phase."

The Chief Medical Officer added "Containment is about identifying and containing all cases no matter how mild.

"The delay phase will focus on minimising the spread of the virus. Ultimately, in mitigation phase, we prioritise the cases that are most unwell.

"The decision to move to delay phase will be based on a number of factors, including the amount of confirmed cases in Ireland, speed at which they are occurring and the profile of transmission.

"Ultimately all of the decisions we take are focused on limiting the impact of this disease on our population and our health service."

Coronavirus: Three more cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Ireland

Dr Ronan Glynn, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, they are aware that older people "may have additional concerns and worries" about the spread of coronavirus

"To ensure they have access to the information they need Alone has established an information helpline at 0818 222 024," he said.

"This is a time for solidarity and community. We urge everyone to reach out to older family and friends, to ensure they have the appropriate advice and information.

"Protect your loved ones by not visiting if you feel unwell, with respiratory symptoms or fever.”

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), who met over the weekend, will again meet tomorrow.

The announcement of new cases comes as the Government announced a series of measures to tackle the virus.

It was announced today that St Patrick's Day parades across the country "will not proceed".

The decision was made based on advice from the NPHET.

The Government has also announced a package of €3bn to support the HSE, workers who have to take sick leave and businesses impacted by coronavirus.

€2.4bn has been put aside for income supports.

The Government said: "A package of reforms was agreed for sick pay, illness benefit and supplementary benefit that is designed to ensure that employees and the self-employed can abide by medical advice to self-isolate where appropriate, while having their income protected to a far greater degree than under the current social welfare system."

As well as the €2.4bn an initial package for business has been announced including €200m in liquidity funding.

A further €430m has been allocated to the HSE. It will be used to tackle a range of issues, including:

  • Strengthening public health capacity for contact tracing and response;
  • Freeing up as much space as possible in hospitals, and in particular ensuring maximum capacity in intensive care and high-dependency units;
  • Developing and scaling community-based responses, such as home testing, remote management of mild to moderately ill patients at home and the provision of dedicated Covid-19 services outside hospitals;
  • Continuing to build and galvanise community awareness and preventative actions;
  • Increasing capacity in the health service, through increased staffing, overtime and redeployment;

Speaking at a press conference earlier today, Mr Varadkar said 60% of the population could contract Covid-19.

“What we have seen from other countries and what we have seen from what is available at the moment, is that we could we could easily have 50 or 60% of our population contracting Covid-19.

“For the vast majority of the population this will be a mild illness and may even by asymptomatic. However there will be a significant part of the population who will require critical care.

“A percentage that we don’t honestly know yet – it could be 1% or 3% – mortality. We just don’t know that with any degree of certainty.

“It is not the kind of thing we have seen in a very long time.”

Mr Varadkar said he thinks the Irish health system “will cope as best as possible”.

This won’t be an ordinary situation If you consider the numbers of people who could become very ill…even if the health service was twice the size it is now we will struggle.

“It will be like nothing in our living memory.”

- additional reporting by Press Association

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