Covid-19: Four further deaths, 420 new cases confirmed in Ireland

All of the deaths reported this evening occurred in April
Covid-19: Four further deaths, 420 new cases confirmed in Ireland

The total number of cases confirmed in Ireland since the outbreak began is now 243,238. File Picture:Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Four further deaths from Covid-19 have been confirmed this evening by Department of Health officials.

Of the deaths reported today, all occurred in April.

The newest figures bring the total number of Covid-19 related deaths here to 4,835.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) also confirmed 420 new cases of the virus here.

The total number of cases confirmed in Ireland since the outbreak began is now 243,238.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 211 are men;
  • 206 are women;
  • 74% are under 45 years of age;
  • The median age is 32 years old

As of 8am this morning, 183 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, 50 of whom were in intensive care.  

Seven additional hospitalisations have been reported in the past 24 hours.

The national five-day moving average of the virus now stands at 386.

Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of one previously confirmed case. 

The figure of 243,238 cases above reflects this.

Vaccine rollout

As of Thursday, April 15, 1,155,599 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland. 

The latest statistics show that 814,470 people have received their first dose, while 341,129 people have received their second dose and are fully vaccinated.

Earlier this afternoon, HSE boss Paul Reid said his organisation was ready to adjust the country's vaccination programme if the government decides to prioritise younger people in the vaccine rollout.

According to reports, the Health Minister has asked officials to look at the possibility of vaccinating under 30s ahead of older groups in a bid to reduce transmission rates.

Such a move would see those aged 18 to 30 get the jab before people in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

Paul Reid said the HSE will only alter the current plan if directed to do so.

However, he said he was not aware of any plans to change the vaccine priority list at the moment.

"We are working off medical, scientific advice from the National Immunisation Advice Committee which is very strong and compelling to administer the vaccines based on age," he said.

"That is where the highest risk is and that is the plan agreed by Government and that is the plan we are working through right now.

"If at any stage there are changed by the Government, we will change the plan accordingly but all of the medical and scientific advice is strongly to administer based on age."

World Covid death toll tops 3m 

Meanwhile, the global death toll from Covid-19 has topped three million, according to Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The number of lives lost is equivalent to the total population of large cities like Lisbon, Kiev and Caracas.

At present, deaths worldwide are running at around 12,000 each day.

The true number is believed to be even higher because of possible government concealment and the many cases overlooked in the early stages of the outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019.

While businesses in some Western countries are beginning to contemplate life after the pandemic, several nations are lagging behind in the vaccine race. 

Brazil, India and France have seen daily deaths and case totals increase significantly over the last couple of weeks.

“This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic, where we have proven control measures,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, one of the World Health Organisation’s leaders on Covid-19.

Some 87% of the 700 million doses dispensed globally have been given out in richer countries.

While one in four people in wealthy nations have received a vaccine, in poor countries the figure is one in more than 500.

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