Clare records no increase in COVID-19 cases as Ireland’s death toll hits 1232

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*No traffic at Spancilhill Cross as people stay home. Photograph: John Mangan

Ireland has recorded a further 43 deaths linked to COVID-19 as 359 additional cases across the county with no increase noted in Co Clare.

1,232 people died since the outbreak of the virus in the Republic of Ireland. 43 more individuals died in the past twenty four hours, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre confirmed on Thursday. One death has been de-notified by the HPSC.

59% of the deaths in the country have been from residents of long term community facilities. 630 of the deaths have been of nursing home residents (51%), a further 105 individuals have died in long term community facilities.

An additional 359 cases are now known by health officials. It brings the national total to 20,612 of personnel diagnosed with a positive test.

From midnight on Tuesday (April 28th), there is 232 cases in Clare. This shows no increase in the space of 24 hours.

There are 5,267 confirmed cases associated with healthcare workers in the country. 210 of which have been hospitalised, 34 have been admitted to ICU and 5 have died. 41 is the median age of confirmed cases involving healthcare workers. The figures provided state that the 5,267 are comprised of nurses (34%), allied healthcare professionals (24%), healthcare assistants (24%), doctors (7%) and porters (1%).

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group warned that a similar surge that occurred at the onset of the virus would be “very difficult to manage”. In a ten day period, admission rates to ICUs rose from 50 to 140.

Speaking at Thursday’s press briefing, Dr Tony Holohan noted that with regarding to the lifting of restrictions, “the approach we take is a risk based one”. He outlined that a period of time will be left to analyse whether such an easing of a particular restrictions leads to an increase. The Chief Medical Officer stated that social distancing, regular washing of hands and proper coughing etiquette will have to be maintained into the future.

Not enough improvements have been witnessed to warrant the easing of restrictions on May 5th, the CMO repeated. “The advice now is that we shouldn’t lift restrictions”.

Testing criteria is to be discussed at Friday’s meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). “We’ll look at what the demand would be if we didn’t have prioritisation and we’ll see if we need that prioritisation there. We want to be sure removing it wouldn’t have the impact that would take us beyond our capacity,” Holohan said.

Despite six counties not recording an increase in a case of 24 hours with an increase of 332 cases in Leinster alone from Tuesday’s figures, Dr Holohan said they are not currently considering lifting restrictions on a regional basis.

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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