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07th May 2020

164 cases of Covid-19 in Direct Provision now confirmed

Rob O'Hanrahan

The most up to date figures were presented this evening.

It has been confirmed by Minister for Health Simon Harris that there are now 164 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Direct Provision centres in Ireland.

It was reported yesterday that as of last Saturday, May 2nd, there were 9 clusters and 88 cases of the virus among asylum seekers in Direct Provision. This was a 42% rise from the previous week.

Minister Harris confirmed the figure in the Dáil today, responding to a question from Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly, the party’s Spokesperson for Health.

When the number was raised by JOE at the daily Covid-19 press briefing at the Department of Health this evening, the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan confirmed that this was the most up to date figure. There were no available figures for updated figures relating to clusters and hospitalisations, although we were assured these would be provided tomorrow.

The question was also posed by JOE whether Direct Provision residents would now be tested en masse, similar to the mass testing we have seen in nursing homes in recent weeks. Dr Holohan said this was being considered, and again there would be an update provided on this tomorrow.

There are over 6,000 people in Direct Provision centres in Ireland, many in conditions that are not conducive to the social distancing recommended by the HSE to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus here. A number of concerns have been raised about the potential for outbreaks of the virus in Direct Provision centres in the last few weeks.

It was reported today that a further 29 people have died from Covid-19 here in the Republic of Ireland, while 137 new confirmed cases were reported.

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