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*Clare’s newest testing centre for COVID-19, Cusack Park. Photograph: John Mangan

Ireland’s death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 1,063 with an additional 52 deaths recorded plus an increase of 377 confirmed cases in the country as Clare’s total hits 207.

As of 1pm on Saturday (today), the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed that a total of 52 people with COVID-19 have died, of which 42 were laboratory confirmed. It now brings to 1,063 the total deaths in Ireland since the outbreak of the virus, the HPSC has said three cases have been de-notified.

377 new cases are now known bringing to 18,561 the amount of individuals that have been diagnosed in the Republic of Ireland. Globally, the death toll has reached almost 200,000, with over 120,000 of these in Europe.

Figures from Thursday (April 23rd) of which there was 17,420 confirmed cases has revealed that 207 of these are in Co Clare, an increase of one in the space of 24 hours. This equates at 1.2% of the country’s total. As of this time last week, there were 151 diagnoses made in the county.

Community transmission has dropped to 48% for all cases in spreading the virus, close contact has risen to 48% with travel abroad now at 4% as of Thursday.

More testing is to be carried out in Co Clare with the home of Clare GAA, Cusack Park to operate as a centre for the taking of samples.

HSE officials have confirmed that the testing capacity is to be increased significantly over the coming weeks. 127,319 tests have been processed by laboratories as of Saturday.

Speaking today, Minister for Health Simon Harris (FG) outlined that the aim is to be able to carry out 100,000 tests a week. “It is eight weeks, since we had our first case of Covid-19 in this country. It might seem an awful lot longer. It’s been a really tough, traumatic, challenging time for Irish people. But look at all that has been achieved in these weeks in terms of ramping up capacity in our hospitals, building a testing system from scratch”.

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