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Press Release

Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team - Tuesday 24 March

Published: 24 March 2020
From: Department of Health

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that a patient diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland has died.

The patient is a male and in the east of the country, with an underlying health condition.

There have now been seven COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed of 204 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, as at 1pm, Tuesday 24 March.

There are now 1,329 confirmed cases of COVID-19 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.

To date, 17,992 tests have been carried out in laboratories across the country, as of midnight last night.

Today’s data from HPSC, as of midnight, Sunday 22 March (965 cases), reveals:

  • 55% are male and 45% are female, with 44 clusters involving 243 cases
  • the median age of confirmed cases is 45 years
  • 277 cases (29%) have been hospitalised
  • of those hospitalised, 36 cases have been admitted to ICU
  • 247 cases (26%) are associated with healthcare workers
  • Dublin has the highest number of cases at 535, (55% of all cases) followed by Cork with 123 cases (13%)
  • of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 47%, close contact accounts for 23%, travel abroad accounts for 31%

The Department of Health has today launched a new COVID-19 Information Dashboard which provides up-to-date case information. It's available at www.gov.ie/dashboard.

The National Public Health Emergency Team met last night (Monday 23 March) and this morning (Tuesday 24 March) to review Ireland’s response to COVID-19 preparedness.

The following recommendations were made by the National Public Health Emergency Team and today adopted by Government:

  • Ireland has adopted the World Health Organisation case definition for COVID-19; A patient with fever and at least one sign of respiratory disease e.g. cough, shortness of breath
  • individuals should work from home unless attendance at the workplace is absolutely essential
  • non-essential retail outlets are to close to members of the public. Essential retail outlets are to implement strict physical distancing measures
  • all sporting events are cancelled, including those behind closed doors
  • all playgrounds and holiday or caravan parks are closed
  • all organised social indoor or outdoor events of any size are not to take place
  • all cafes and restaurants are to operate on a take-away or delivery basis. Strict physical distancing measures apply to queuing for this service
  • people should not use public transport unless it is absolutely necessary

A comprehensive list of new measures is available here.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said:

"We are now in the crucial weeks of our response to COVID-19. All actions we take are based on epidemiological evidence and in proportion to our experience on this island.
“As we learn more about this disease, we are prioritising who will be tested. If you are not in a priority group, you might not be tested. However, if you have the symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself.”

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said:

"Priority groups for testing include close contacts of a confirmed case with symptoms, healthcare workers with symptoms and people who are vulnerable with symptoms.
“Whether you are tested or not, the advice remains the same; if you have any symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself for 14 days to help stop the spread of this disease. Household contacts of a suspected case should restrict their contacts for 14 days.”

Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said:

"14,692 samples have been tested at the NVRL, of which 94% returned negative.
“Ireland is following WHO advice to “test, test, test” and is in the top quartile in terms of number of tests we have performed per capita. This, alongside physical distancing measures and intensive contact tracing, is deemed best practice internationally for dealing with this threat.”

Analysis of public health contact tracing has shown that the average number of close contacts per confirmed case has decreased from 20+ to the region of 5 contacts. This shows that the public is following health advise and actively limiting the amount of people they engage with.

NPHET will meet again on Thursday 26 March, to review Ireland’s ongoing preparedness and response to COVID-19.

ENDS

Hospital statistics

    Total number of cases 965
    Total number hospitalised 277
    Total number admitted to ICU 36
    Total number of deaths 6
    Case fatality rate 0.6
    Total number of healthcare workers 247
    Number clusters notified 44
    Median age 45

*All statistics measured at midnight on Sunday 22 March.

Gender of patients

    Gender Number % of Total
    Female 431 45
    Male 534 55
    Total 965

*All statistics measured at midnight on Sunday 22 March.

Age range affected

    Age Group Number % of Total
    <1 3 0
    1 - 4 2 0
    5 - 14 17 2
    15 - 24 77 8
    25 - 34 189 20
    35 - 44 183 19
    45 - 54 191 20
    55 - 64 136 14
    65+ 165 17
    Unknown 2 0
    Total 965

*All statistics measured at midnight on Sunday 22 March.

How COVID-19 is spreading

    Community transmission 45%
    Close contact with confirmed case 24%
    Travel Abroad 31%

*All statistics measured at midnight on Sunday 22 March.

Note:

In the event that a person tests positive for COVID-19 and hasn't been abroad or had contact with another confirmed case in Ireland, that's known as community transmission.

In the event that a person who tests positive for COVID-19 can be linked to another confirmed case in Ireland, that's known as local transmission.

Healthcare workers

    Travel related 62 25%
    No foreign travel 156 63%
    Under investigation 29 12%
    Total 247

*All statistics measured at midnight on Sunday 22 March.

Hospitalised cases by age group

    <5 2 1%
    5 - 14 2 1%
    15 - 24 15 5%
    25 - 34 36 13%
    35 - 44 26 9%
    45 - 54 52 18%
    55 - 64 43 16%
    65+ 101 37%

*All statistics measured at midnight on Sunday 22 March.

Cases by county

    Carlow ≤5 0%
    Cavan ≤5 1%
    Clare 11 1%
    Cork 123 13%
    Donegal 11 1%
    Dublin 535 56%
    Galway 35 4%
    Kerry 15 1%
    Kildare 25 3%
    Kilkenny 16 2%
    Laois 8 1%
    Leitrim ≤5 0%
    Limerick 19 2%
    Longford ≤5 1%
    Louth 16 2%
    Mayo 9 1%
    Meath 16 2%
    Monaghan ≤5 0%
    Offaly 13 1%
    Roscommon ≤5 0%
    Sligo 8 1%
    Tipperary 20 2%
    Waterford 13 1%
    Westmeath 21 2%
    Wexford ≤5 0%
    Wicklow 28 3%

*All statistics measured at midnight on Sunday 22 March.

≤ means 'less than or equal to'.

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