Covid-19: Three further deaths, 606 additional cases

Covid-19: Three further deaths, 606 additional cases

James Cox

Three further Covid-19 related deaths and 606 additional cases have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland today.

Of the deaths reported today, two occurred in March and one in February.

There has now been a total of 4,631 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight Wednesday, March 24th, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has been notified of 606 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

There is now a total of 232,758 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 298 are men/305 are women.
  • 75 per cent are under 45 years of age.
  • The median age is 33 years old.
  • 249 cases are in Dublin, 57 in Donegal, 39 in Kildare, 32 in Meath, 31 in Louth and the remaining 198 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 8am today, 312 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 75 are in ICU. 24 additional Covid-19 cases have been reported in Irish hospitals in the past 24 hours.

As of March 22nd, 690,449 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:

  • 503,796 people have received their first dose.
  • 186,653 people have received their second dose.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: “The vast majority of people are making a huge sacrifice and missing time with loved ones in order for us to stay on course with the public health guidance.

“However, we know that in the week ending March 14th, approximately one-in-ten people visited another household for social reasons, with most of these visits involving time spent indoors. While this clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of people are sticking with the public health guidance, it does represent a significant change versus January when just one in 20 people were visiting other homes for social reasons. Please continue to stick with the public heath advice and avoid visiting other homes at this time — do not give this virus the opportunities it is seeking to spread.”

Dr Lorraine Nolan, chief executive officer, Health Products Regulatory Authority said: “People can be assured about the transparency and honesty of the vaccines monitoring and approvals process. Where there is any indication of concern in relation to side effects of a vaccine, even in a very small number of cases across the EU, we have seen that appropriate steps will be taken to ensure further investigation if needed.

"There are risks associated with all vaccines but with Covid-19, the benefits of a vaccine far outweighs the risks for a very small number of cases. Rigorous monitoring and safety reporting is ongoing by the HPRA in partnership with our EU partners. We have three safe and effective vaccines, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and Moderna and we will shortly add the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to increase the roll out of protection against this highly transmissible disease.”

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “We are experiencing a levelling off in the daily incidence rate of Covid-19 and the concern is that we could so easily move backwards and undo the progress that has been hard-earned since the beginning of the year. The pattern isn’t entirely clear and continues to be volatile, so we’ll be monitoring this quite carefully over the coming weeks.

Transmission rates

“It is important to remember that when the infection gets into a household the transmission rates are very high — up to one third of contacts within a household will subsequently become infected. It is critically important during this very volatile stage that we minimise our contacts where possible and follow public health advice.”

Dr Miriam Owens, director of Public Health, HSE, said: “Today sees the opening of new walk-in test centres in areas of high transmission to enable increased ease of access to testing facilities for people who don’t have symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, I would encourage you to contact your GP to arrange a test as soon as possible. Together we can break the chains of transmission of this infection, by washing our hands, keeping a safe distance and by avoiding all non-essential activity where you are mixing with others.”

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