COVID-19: 15 facts about the virus that has brought the country to a standstill

Covid-19 in numbers.

COVID-19: 15 facts about the virus that has brought the country to a standstill

December 1, 2019

The first case of Coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan, China, according to a study published in The Lancet, more than 40 confirmed cases were admitted to Wuhan in the month of December. Of these cases, 27 had been to the South China Seafood Market, while 14 had no exposure to same. It is not clear if these cases were community exposures.

(The Lancet and Beijing News)

January 9

The first confirmed death relating to Covid-19 was recorded in Wuhan China. Outside of Asia the first fatality was in Paris on February 15.

(New York Times)

January 31 - The first cases of Covid-19 arrive in the EU with two Chinese tourists testing positive for the coronavirus in Rome, Italy. The Italian government suspended all flights to and from China and declared a state of emergency.


February 26

Ireland’s match against Italy in the Six Nations Championship is postponed following the outbreak in northern Italy. Eyes now turn to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan with speculation mounting as to whether the games will go ahead or be postponed until later in the year.

(BBC & Irish Examiner)

February 29

Ireland confirms its first case of the Covid-19 coronavirus. A male is the east of the country who recently travelled in an affected area of Northern Italy.

(Irish Examiner)

March 5

The first case of community transmission of the virus is discovered in Ireland; a male in Cork University Hospital with no history of travelling to affected areas.

(Irish Examiner)


The number of symptoms people need to be aware of. The virus can affect a patient's lungs and airways.

    The coronavirus symptoms are:
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Fever (high temperature)

If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, phone your GP or local emergency department without delay. Do not go to your GP or ED. Avoid contact with other people by self-isolating. If you do not have a GP, phone 112 or 999.



The incubation period of Covid 19 is as short as two days or as long as two weeks. The incubation period is the time between first exposure and the first symptoms appearing. The current average is five days.

(Harvard Medical)


People who have shared the same room with a confirmed Covid -19 case or have been within 2 meters of the person for more than 15 minutes are at high risk of infection. High-risk contacts may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days while monitoring for symptoms.

(European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control)


The recommended time you should wash your hands. Cleaning your hands is one of the key prevention methods when it comes to the spread of coronavirus. Using soap and water make sure you clean your hands regularly and thoroughly. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. (HSE)


According to the WHO, “globally about 3.4% of reported Covid-19 cases have died”. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.

(World Health Organisation)


The age group with the highest mortality rate. According to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control, the mortality rate for people aged over 80, with preexisting health problems, is 14%. In comparison, between the ages of 10 and 49, the mortality rate is 0.2%. The scale increases with age.



The number of units of hand sanitiser a Cork-based manufacturer intends to deliver per week. Cosmetic Creations launched the new Airmedica product last week and plans to produce up to 2.5 million units. The company says up to 40% of its supply has already been ordered. (

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