Five deaths due to Covid-19, 69 new cases confirmed
Five people have died due to Covid-19 in Ireland.
Ireland's jump in Covid-19 cases has continued today, with 69 new cases reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. The latest figures take Ireland's total number of confirmed cases to 26,372.
Additionally, five more people have died due to the virus. The figure marks an huge jump from previous weeks, as Ireland had suffered just one death in the previous 12 days. Ireland's total death toll due to Covid-19 now stands at 1,768.
Of today's 69 cases, 22 cases are located in Offaly, 19 in Kildare, 8 in Laois, 6 in Dublin, and 14 are spread across eight other counties (Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Louth, Meath and Wexford).
Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said this evening: “Over the past fourteen days, 226 cases have arisen in Kildare, Laois and Offaly. These represent almost half of all cases in Ireland over that time period.
"While the majority of these cases can be accounted for by outbreaks, this volume of cases is significant and our main priority now is to ensure that these outbreaks do not lead to widespread community transmission in the region.
"NPHET continues to monitor the situation closely. I urge people in these counties to remain vigilant to stop the further spread of COVID-19 in these areas."
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said; “We have seen a significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 over the past week. The reproduction number for the virus is now estimated to be 1.8.
"A reproduction number of almost 2 is a serious concern, and although we have not yet seen a significant increase in community transmission, there is a significant risk this could develop over the coming days and weeks emphasising the need for each of us to be extremely cautious that we do not contribute to the transmission of the virus."
Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said: "Public Health teams have been informed of the locations of these outbreaks as is routine and contact tracing and testing is taking place as appropriate. Our focus now is on controlling these outbreaks and taking action as necessary.
“We also need people to continue to follow our public health advice and avoid crowds, especially indoors, and limit the number of people you meet.
"The Department of Health and HSE launched the next phase of our communications campaign today encouraging people to keep up the protective behaviours of physical distancing, washing our hands regularly, wearing a face covering where appropriate and downloading the COVID-19 Tracker app.”