Four further Covid-19 deaths and 425 new cases reported as HSE cyber attack takes down test and trace 

Of the deaths notified today one occurred in January, one occurred in February and two occurred in May
Four further Covid-19 deaths and 425 new cases reported as HSE cyber attack takes down test and trace 

A further 425 confirmed cases of the disease have also been reported this Friday as the HSE tackles a cyber attack

A further four deaths of Covid-19 patients have been reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team. This brings to 4,941 the total number of deaths in the pandemic.

A further 425 confirmed cases of the disease have also been reported this Friday, bringing to 254,870 the total number of cases in the Republic.

Of the deaths notified today one occurred in January, one occurred in February and two occurred in May.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 202 are men / 223 are women 
  • 78% are under 45 years of age 
  • 4% are over 65 
  • The median age is 29 years old

Today's figures come as the HSE has been forced to shut down all of its IT systems at a local and national level in response to a "significant and serious" cyber attack.

The extent of the damage to the HSE system is not yet known, but Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said it is having “a severe impact” on health and social care services.

Dr Anne O' Connor, HSE Chief Operations Officer, has warned they could be in a "very serious situation" 
Dr Anne O' Connor, HSE Chief Operations Officer, has warned they could be in a "very serious situation" 

While all Covid-19 vaccination appointments are going ahead as normal, the HSE's Covid-19 test referral system is no longer operational due to the attack.

Patients have been advised to attend any walk-in Covid-19 test site if they need a test, with priority given to symptomatic people and their close contacts.

However, if you already had an appointment for a Covid-19 test, this will go ahead and you should attend as planned.

The Health Service Executive's chief operations officer has warned the HSE could be in “a very serious situation” if the difficulties caused by the cyberattack continue into next week.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio’s News at One program, Dr O'Connor said many clinics and services are continuing today with appointments scheduled in advance, but there could be delays as everything is being done manually.

“If this continues into Monday we will be in a very serious situation and we will have to cancel more appointments.”

Graduation ceremonies 

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer has warned students against "traditional celebrations that mark the formal end of in-school learning" as Leaving Cert students prepare to finish secondary school this May.

"I am aware that this is an important time in the lives of young adults as they take a break from studying for an evening to celebrate with friends."

However, he said, it is not possible for events of this nature to take place this year.

Dr. Holohan has advised students to avoid gathering prior to their exams this summer
Dr. Holohan has advised students to avoid gathering prior to their exams this summer

"It is very important that all students preparing to sit state exams in June take the necessary precautions now to ensure you do not contract Covid-19, particularly in the last remaining days before the commencement of the Leaving Cert."

"Do not attend graduation ceremonies or events. Take this time to restrict your social contacts and continue to follow the public health advice.”

Meanwhile, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group said the profile of COVID-19 in Ireland is generally stable "with grounds for optimism."

"Disease incidence is stable and we are seeing improvements in some indicators. Hospital and ICU admissions are decreasing slowly, the 7 day moving average is reduced, the 5-day moving average is stable, the national positivity rate has reduced to 2.4% and incidence among all age groups is reducing."

“The data also reveals the positive effects of vaccination, not only incidence in the over 65 age groups below the national average and rapidly declining."

Professor Nolan said we are seeing "a very large descrepancy in the probability of being hospitalised or dying." 

"It is clear that vaccination not only decreases infection but also decreases the severity of any disease that breaks through.” 

As of May 11, some 1,922,913 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland.

1,408,105 people have received their first dose 514,808 people have received their second dose.

Dr Cillian de Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory added that current evidence indicates that the vaccines we have are very effective against all currently circulating variants.

"We would encourage everyone to get vaccinated when offered the opportunity."

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