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229 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Clare

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*Photograph: John Mangan

Ireland’s death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 1,488 with a further 299 cases in the Republic and a jump of 17 in Co Clare.

Department of Health officials have said 59 more people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have died in the Republic of Ireland, 45 of which have been confirmed by laboratories. The total now stands at 1,159 as two cases have been de-notified.

In Northern Ireland, there have been a total of 329 lives lost meaning 1,488 people on the island of Ireland have died since the outbreak of the virus. Non-hospital settings and nursing homes are not included in the figures from Northern Ireland.

An additional 299 cases are now known, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has confirmed. The total amount of personnel diagnosed is now 19,947. Between 130 to 140 people are still being cared for in Intensive Care Units, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan confirmed.

Co Clare as of Sunday has 229 confirmed cases. It represents an increase of 17 diagnoses. Such a rise is the second highest increase in the space of 24 hours, the daily rise of 22 cases from the period of Tuesday April 21st remains the highest. The county accounts for 1.2% of cases across the country.

A total of 153,054 tests have now been carried out. Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, Cillian de Gascun confirmed there have been 41,470 tests conducted in the last week, 5.375 of which were positive equating at 12.9%. He said the present lab capacity is 60,000 and they expect to have a capacity of 70,000 by next week.

Dr Holohan advised that the recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) with regard to restrictions post May 5th will be known on Friday. He acknowledged that there has been a “huge level” of compliance with the public and that patience is wearing thin. “It is important for us to do as much as we possibly can as a society”. He added “It is a long period of time that people have been asked to comply with these restrictions, we know that”.

On Tuesday, Virgin Media News reported that several patients in ICUs treated during February were diagnosed with COVID-19 and that the virus was in the country two weeks before the first case was notified to authorities. The Chief Medical Officer said he wasn’t aware of such cases but did know there was a “high level of suspicion” before a case was diagnosed.

Chief Clinical Officer with the HSE, Dr Colm Henry stated, “the case definition was different at the time”. Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn noted that someone could have been admitted before February 29th and “either got COVID-19 in hospital or was swabbed later than the 29th”. Dr Holohan added, “There would have many suspect cases”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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