East and border areas have highest rates of Covid-19, data shows

Leitrim is now the only county in Ireland with fewer than 100 cases reported, with just 74, while there have been relatively low numbers recorded in Carlow, Clare, Sligo and Waterford.
East and border areas have highest rates of Covid-19, data shows
Picture: Dan Linehan

The East of the country and the border region are seeing higher incidences of Covid-19 than the South and West.

While Cork has third highest number of cases, it has one of the lowest rates of incidence per 100,000 people.

Data issued daily by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) illustrates how different parts of Ireland are affected by the outbreak of the pandemic. The HPSC data shows the number of cases reported on a county-by-county basis, but does not extend to including a breakdown of deaths.

The most recent data it has published is accurate as of midnight on Saturday, May 9, when there were 22,894 cases recorded.

At that time, just over 13% of cases resulted in hospitalisation, with 383 people admitted to ICU. The death rate was 5.3%.

Throughout Munster and the south of Leinster, incidence rates are much lower than in the East and border region, the report shows.

In Cork, there are 226.9 cases per 100,000 people. The lowest rate in the country is in Waterford, which has 123.1 per 100,000. Wexford (134.9), Kerry (205.1), Limerick (298.6), Galway (151.9), and Clare (256.7) are also among the lowest incidence rates recorded.

By comparison, Dublin is now at 829.4 cases per 100,000, while Kildare (598.2), Louth (566.4), and Wicklow (453.6) are much higher, too. Cavan is the highest in the country, with 988.5 cases per 100,000 people, while Monaghan is also high at 731.4. Incidence rates in the border counties are quickly climbing, too.

In terms of the number of confirmed cases, Dublin now accounts for almost half the 22,894 cases which had been notified by midnight on Saturday. Some 48.8% of cases were in Dublin, with Kildare the second highest at 5.8%. Cork is third at 5.4%, with 1,232 cases recorded.

Leitrim is now the only county in Ireland with fewer than 100 cases reported, with just 74, while there have been relatively low numbers recorded in Carlow (141), Clare (305), Kerry (303), Kilkenny (280), Sligo (123) and Waterford (143) too.

There had been some calls to impose different restrictions on different parts of the country due to the varied experiences of different counties including two notable calls from Co Kerry, where TD Danny Healy Rae and former Mayor of Killarney Donal Grady both called for restrictions to be eased in the Kingdom.

However, the idea did not gain much traction and while it is understood it was discussed by public health officials as a potential aspect of the roadmap to reopening society, it was not included in the final document.

The report also notes that international travel is now associated with just 1.5% of cases, with community transmission and local transmission the most likely source of the virus.

The source of the virus is classed as unknown in 18% of cases, the HPSC report.

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