Coronavirus: Two more deaths and 235 new cases

By William O'Connor 

TWO people have died today from COVID-19 while 235 new cases have been confirmed by The Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

The patients are a female in the east of the country, with an underlying health condition and a male, in the east of the country bringing the total COVID-19 related deaths to nine.

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There are now a total of 1,564 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ireland.

The HSE is now working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread. 

Today’s data from HPSC, as of midnight, Monday, March 23 (1,164 cases), reveals: 

55% are male and 45% are female, with 63 clusters involving 289 cases; 

The median age of confirmed cases is 45 years; 

305 cases (26%) have been hospitalised; 

Of those hospitalised, 39 cases have been admitted to ICU; 

283 cases (24%) are associated with healthcare workers 

Dublin has the highest number of cases at 559, (57% of all cases) followed by Cork with 133 cases (11%) 

Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 49%, close contact accounts for 23%, travel abroad accounts for 28% 

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “Our data showed yesterday that only 6% of our tests so far returned positive; so for every 100 people we test we are only finding 6 people with COVID-19. In light of this, our case definition changed. 

“Changing case definition is a standard practice in managing pandemics.

"Ultimately, we want our 6% detected rate to increase, we want to find as many people as possible with COVID-19, isolate them and contain the spread.” 

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “We are seeking to prioritise those who are to be tested with a focus in the short-term on those who are vulnerable and those who are at the highest risk to exposure.” 

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said: “There has been ongoing engagement with GPs over the past 24 hours.

"GPs are best placed to advise individuals with symptoms whether they need a test or not.

"Ultimately, the test has no impact on the clinical course of this disease and the priority for anyone with symptoms is to isolate themselves.” 

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