Regional variations in Covid-19 deaths — Dublin still hardest hit

Regional variations in Covid-19 deaths — Dublin still hardest hit

More than five cases of coronavirus related to restaurants and cafés were noted for the first time in July.

Fewer than 10 people have died from Covid-19 during each of the last three weeks, but Dublin remains the hardest hit and July is the first month where more than five cases of the virus are linked to outbreaks in restaurants or cafés.

In its eighth information bulletin related to the coronavirus pandemic, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said the number of weekly confirmed Covid-19 cases exceeded 100 in each of the last two weeks up to the week ending July 17, although the figure for that last week was down considerably compared to the week previous.

Profiling those more recent cases, the median age of new confirmed Covid-19 cases was 35 years old, but taking all data into account since the start of the pandemic, 65% of all confirmed Covid deaths have been in the 80 years or older age group.

The latest bulletin also highlights regional variations. The week ending July 17 was the seventh week in a row that Dublin had less than 100 weekly cases since the start of March, but the capital accounts for 51% of total confirmed deaths.

Clare and Offaly recorded no new cases for a fifth week in a row, while it was the ninth week in a row that Mayo, Westmeath and Wicklow recorded fewer than 10 new cases. The week ending July 17 was the 10th week in succession that Clare, Leitrim, Longford, Tipperary and Wexford recorded fewer than 10 new cases, and the 11th successive week for Donegal, Kerry and Laois. Waterford has had 12 weeks in a row in which 10 or fewer cases have been recorded.

Kildare was the only other county to record 10 or more new cases in the past three weeks up to the week ended July 17.

There have been 13,431 positive Covid-19 cases linked to an outbreak, which is defined as two or more cases in the same location and time.

The CSO said 52% of confirmed cases are now linked to an outbreak and added: "More than 40% of cases related to an outbreak in the last four weeks were linked to travel."

It also said more than five cases related to restaurants and cafés were noted for the first time in July. Any emerging trends will be watched with interest ahead of any green light for the net phase of re-opening, which is scheduled to allow pubs not serving food to open from Aug 10.

Nursing homes accounted for 44% of all confirmed cases related to an outbreak, although this is down from a peak of 47% in late April, from which point the rate of cases there has fallen every week. Hospitals, residential institutions, and nursing homes account for nearly 60% of all cases linked to an outbreak.

Wearing a mask on public transport is now mandatory.
Wearing a mask on public transport is now mandatory.

The 25-44 age group still show the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases at 8,880 but the CSO noted a shift in age pattern, stating: "The median age of new confirmed Covid-19 cases was 35 years old for the week ending July 17. This is the fourth week in a row where the median age of new cases has been under 40."

Health care workers continue to make up almost a third of all cases and one welcome statistic is that for the eighth week in a row there have been fewer than five people admitted to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

There were 1,319 deaths of people with underlying conditions in the over-65 age group; and of the 107 deaths in the 25-64 age group, 98 had underlying conditions.

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