Covid-19 cases exceed 3,400 but 'no room for complacency' despite lower than predicted figures

Covid-19 cases exceed 3,400 but 'no room for complacency' despite lower than predicted figures
Oisin Carson, 5, and Isabella Fayeun, 6, standing near a Covid-19 notice near an outdoor gym that has been closed due to coronavirus restrictions in Athy, Co. Kildare, today.

Fewer cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the country than predicted but the Deputy Chief Medical Officer has warned there is no room for complacency.

Fourteen more people diagnosed with Covid-19 have died in the Republic bringing the death toll to 85.

A further 212 cases of the virus have also been confirmed today bringing the total to 3,447.

Ten of the deaths happened in the east of the country and four in the south.

The patients included seven females and seven males, while eight patients were reported as having underlying health conditions.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn said it is too early to draw any firm conclusions as the latest figures show a slight decrease in cases of Covid-19.

“Whether there is two or three hundred cases or more, we are always conscious that every case is a person. 212 is better than three hundred or four hundred and is better than where we thought we would be.”

“However, we are only going to win this battle if we get the number right down and ultimately we have to stop each individual who has this, transmitting it to someone else.

The latest restrictions in operation since Friday, March 27 mandate that everyone should stay at home, only leaving to:

  • Shop for essential food and household goods;
  • Attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products;
  • Care for children, older people or other vulnerable people - this excludes social family visits;
  • Exercise outdoors - within 2kms of your home and only with members of your own household, keeping 2 metres distance between you and other people
  • Travel to work if you provide an essential service - be sure to practice social distancing

“There are a number of positive indicators that we as a country can take heart from in terms of the total number of cases today compared to what was predicted a few weeks ago and terms of what we know from the population survey and adherence to the new measures and people’s willingness to comply.”

We are hopeful that as a whole we are going in the right direction.

“The number of cases day on day has decreased significantly in percentage terms versus a couple of weeks ago.

“Again, I think it is too early to draw any firm conclusion and it is too early to become complacent in relation to any of this.

“I don’t think anything has changed the magnitude of this or the necessity of us as a population to treat this as seriously as we can.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arriving at the Citywest Hotel today which will have the use of the 750-bedroom for self isolation.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arriving at the Citywest Hotel today which will have the use of the 750-bedroom for self isolation.

Prof. Glynn said the health service is not carrying out as many tests for Covid-19 as it would have planned.

“At present, we are not carrying out as many tests as we would like to be or as we had intended to carry out.

“If we were carrying out more tests we would obviously would be picking up more people.”

“Equally that does not mean the picture in terms of hospitalisations or intensive care would be any different.”

“As we ramp up testing as we intend to do over a very short timeframe, i.e the next 10 days to two weeks, we will get a picture of the burden of this disease on the population as a whole.”

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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