FIFTY people in Cork who have contracted Covid-19 since the beginning of the outbreak have died it has been revealed as hopes rise for a vaccine.
New figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that up to July 17, 1,497 Covid-19 related deaths had been reported nationally, with a further 256 deaths cited as probable deaths linked to the virus.
Fifty Covid-19 related deaths were reported in Cork up to that date.
The median age of those who died was 83 years.
The figures show a total of 1,560 cases of Covid-19 had been reported from Cork, with the median age of cases at 46 years.
Cork now accounts for around six percent of all cases reported nationally and, while it has reported the second-highest number of Covid-19 cases for any county, official figures show it has the sixth-lowest cumulative incidence rate of confirmed cases per 100,000 population.
Cork GP Dr Nick Flynn said that Cork has done “relatively well” during the outbreak, something which he attributed in part to “good public health advice, good luck and poor infrastructure.”
UK trials to develop a vaccine are to be expanded and have been described as "promising".
Dr Flynn believes it will be at least nine to 12 months before it is likely that a vaccine would be available, and in enough supply, for it to reach the Irish public widely.
Last night, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) confirmed that 20 more cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Ireland.