Nphet report 390 new Covid cases and a further 11 deaths

The Government are due to meet on April 30 to discuss the further easing of restrictions for the summer months
Nphet report 390 new Covid cases and a further 11 deaths

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) has been notified of an additional 11 Covid-19 related deaths, with the total number of deaths related to the virus now standing at 4,847.

Of the deaths notified today, four occurred in April, two in March, a further four occurred in February and one in January.

The median age of those who died was 83 years and the age range was 50-93 years.

National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) also announced an additional 390 new cases of Covid-19, with the total of confirmed Covid cases in the country now at 244,297.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 215 are men 
  • 174 are women 
  • 67% are under 45 years of age 
  • The median age is 34 years old

172 of the new Covid cases were confirmed in Dublin, with the next highest found in Kildare with 42. 

A further 21 cases were identified in Meath, 20 in Tipperary, and 18 in Donegal. The remaining 117 cases are spread across 19 other counties.

There are 179 patients currently hospitalised with the virus, 48 of which are in ICU. There has been an additional 18 hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

1,208,459 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland as of April 18, with 855,512 people having received their first dose and 352,947 people have received their second inoculation.

Overall benefits of J&J jab outweigh risk

The European Medicines Agency has confirmed there is a "possible link" between the one-dose Janssen jab and very rare blood clots.

The medicines watchdog said the "overall benefits of Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen in preventing Covid-19 outweigh the risks of side effects."

The EMA said in a statement on Tuesday that it found a "possible link to very rare cases of unusual blood clots with low blood platelets" with the vaccine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the decision and described it as good news for the roll-out of vaccination campaigns across the EU.

Karina Butler, the chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac), says Ireland will now decide on the use of the vaccine:

"We will be looking at the detail of that over the next day or so, and there is additional information that we anticipate that will be coming out this week as the EMA are looking at these events and are trying to refine the information that has been given to us perhaps more detail in terms of age related risk," she said.

More than seven million people had received the J&J vaccine in the US.

Around 600,000 doses of the vaccines are due for delivery to Ireland between April and June this year.

7 in 10 Irish adults will be fully vaccinated by July

Ireland is to receive enough vaccines to fully inoculate 70% of the adult population by the middle of July, a European Commissioner has said.

Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said the EU is on target to supply Ireland with almost six million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by July.

“This includes some doses coming from Janssen, which is only a one-shot vaccine.

"This is why we are confident we will be able to deliver enough doses.

“It will depend on the ability of the countries to organise mass vaccinations in order to reach the 70% of adult population by mid-July," he said.

The Government has previously pledged that 80% of adults in the country will have received at least a first dose by the end of June.

Due to progress on the vaccination roll-out, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said the Government hopes to include "an indicative idea" of what restrictions will be eased during the summer by April 30.

A special cabinet meeting has been organised to decide what should be opened between now and July.

It's expected the plan will be similar to the phased re-opening plan for exiting the first lockdown last year.

The Tánaiste has said the immediate priority will be what can be re-opened in May:

"That will involve looking at things like personal services, retail, more outdoor activities, religious services and the full return of construction.

"I don't want to particularly speculate beyond that," he said.

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