Covid-19 latest: 411 new cases and six further deaths

Covid-19 latest: 411 new cases and six further deaths

Dr Ronan Glynn warned that there is a critical window over the coming weeks where any significant increases in close contact could lead to a significant fourth wave of infection.  Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 6 additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 411 confirmed cases.

All reported deaths occurred in March.

The median age of those who died was 79 years and the age range was 49 - 87 years.

There has been a total of 4,687 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight, Tuesday 30th March, the HPSC has been notified of 411 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 235,854 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today, 150 are in Dublin, 31 in Donegal, 25 in Kildare, 25 in Wexford, 21 in Offaly and the remaining 159 cases are spread across 17 other counties.

In Cork, there are 19 new cases.

As of 8 am today, 297 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 67 are in ICU. 16 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

As of 28 March, 806,541 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland: 580,857 people have received their first dose while 225,684 people have received their second dose.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said that the coming eight weeks provides a critical window.

“There is a critical window over the next 8 weeks where any significant increase in close contact is likely to lead to a significant fourth wave of infection in the range of that experienced in January 2021.

“We can and should be optimistic for an enjoyable summer ahead but, in the meantime, we have to continue to work together to prevent a further wave of infection as we accelerate vaccination across society and maintain our health services.” 

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said that the Reproduction number is currently estimated at 1.0 – 1.3. 

"If the epidemic is growing again now, the doubling time is estimated at 35 days or longer.

“When comparing the risks of levels of social mixing now and over the coming months with that which applied in 2020, we need to take into account the B.1.1.7 variant and how easily that transmits, and we must also take account the vaccination-induced immunity that will progressively protect us and make it more difficult for the virus to transmit."

He said that vaccinations will contribute greatly to the easing of measures in the coming months, but warned that we need to keep transmission as low as possible so that vaccination of the population can take place and have the desired effect.

Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist and Integrated Care Lead, HSE, said that they are continuing to review instances of ‘long-COVID’. 

"While the evidence base is limited to date, the studies available indicate that people who have had COVID-19 have reported a drop in quality of life including greater difficulty doing usual activities as well as increases in fatigue, anxiety and loss of sense of taste and or smell. 

"One study suggests that outcomes are worse in working-age females than males, in those who were hospitalised.

“The long-term impact of post-COVID syndromes on the working-age population is not well understood but it could be significant."

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