Covid-19 latest: 390 new cases; Healthcare worker who contracted the virus speaks at press briefing

Covid-19 latest: 390 new cases; Healthcare worker who contracted the virus speaks at press briefing

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The Department of Health has confirmed that 390 new cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in Ireland as of midnight last night.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 35,377.

No additional Covid-19 related deaths have occurred today.

Of the confirmed new cases, 209 are in Dublin, 27 in Cork, 22 in Donegal, 21 in Galway,14 in Kildare, 14 in Monaghan, seven in Roscommon, seven in Tipperary, seven in Waterford, seven in Wexford, six in Limerick, six in Longford, five in Laois, five in Meath, five in Offaly, five in Sligo, with the remaining 23 cases in eight counties.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health this evening made a special appeal to people living in Cork and three other counties to stay the course.

"I am asking everyone, but particularly those living and working in Cork, Galway, Monaghan and Roscommon, to adhere to the public health advice. 

"There is still time to get the virus back under control in these areas, break the chains of transmission and stop the spread of this highly infectious disease in these communities," he said.

"We know the key actions to take to stay safe, by keeping a 2m distance, reducing your social contacts, wearing a face mask, covering coughs and sneezes and staying at home and contacting your GP if you start to feel unwell, you are doing everything you can to take care of yourself and those around you," he continued. 

There have been 357 cases of Covid-19 in Cork over the past 14 days.

Dr Glynn said about 70 of those cases have been associated with pubs or restaurants. 

"It does point to the fact that there are certain settings that are high risk," he said.

Lorna Fitzpatrick, President of the Union of Students in Ireland urged students to play their part and adhere to public health advice.

"This is a really difficult time for young people, but students have a vital role to play in keeping everyone in the community safe. 

"My message to students today is to keep the public health guidelines in mind when you are making plans and decisions about where to go and who to see," she said. 

"Also, it is so important to take care of your mental health at this time. 

"Make sure you are reaching out to friends and family on the phone, online and in small, safe ways in person. Remember that talking to others and asking for help when you need it is essential at the moment," Ms Fitzpatrick added.

At the press briefing this evening, media also heard from healthcare worker Jerick Martin who was admitted to ICU with Covid-19.

"I know from personal experience how dangerous this virus is.

"I was a fit and healthy man in my thirties, working and enjoying my life with my wife and my daughter. 

"I caught Covid-19 and within five days of experiencing my first symptoms, I was admitted to hospital, where I spent 68 days in intensive care, most of that time on a ventilator, in an induced coma," Mr Martin said.

"I was told by my doctor that I would be in the induced coma for a few days, but I actually woke up two months later. 

"The impact of that is very frightening and it will have long-lasting effects," he continued.

Mr Martin said he is grateful to be alive, but said that his life and his health have changed. 

"I lost three and a half stone in weight. I have diabetes, shortness of breath and hypertension. 

"I did not have these conditions before. 

"Now, I need an inhaler and I am short of breath going up or down the stairs.

"I don’t know what the longer term effects are going to be.

"I am asking now for everyone to be careful. Take this virus very seriously."

So far, there have been 1,807 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.

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