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Press Release

Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team - Thursday 12 March

Published: 12 March 2020
From: Department of Health

The HPSC has been informed of 27 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

22 cases are associated with local transmission, 2 are associated with community transmission and 3 are associated with travel.

3 of these new cases are in ICU bringing the total patients currently in ICU to 6.

We have one confirmed death of COVID-19 in Ireland.

There are now 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

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

Today (Thursday 12 March), Ireland made the decision to move to Delay Phase.

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

“The ECDC have now advised early, decisive, rapid, coordinated and comprehensive implementation of social distancing measures. Ireland has today responded to this advice.
“NPHET will meet again this evening to continue to review Ireland’s response to COVID-19. Today’s measures are in place until March 29 and will be updated where necessary.”

Delay phase is designed to interrupt the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, by advising reductions on social interactions.

This phase requires a community effort, every citizen acting responsibly in order to protect our vulnerable and elderly members of society.

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

“If we do nothing, the number of cases will increase rapidly and challenge our healthcare services. We need to flatten the curve – to slow transmission, to reduce the total number of cases and spread the number of cases out over a longer period of time.”


Notes to the Editor:

Today, Ireland introduces new measures as part of our effort to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19:

  • individuals who have symptoms should self-isolate for a period of 14 days
  • individuals should reduce discretionary social contacts as much as possible
  • elderly or medically vulnerable people should reduce as much as possible contacts outside home
  • there should be no mass gatherings

-involving more than 100 people if located indoors

-involving more than 500 people if located outdoors

  • closure of museums, galleries and tourism sites
  • closure of schools, creches, other childcare facilities and higher education institutions.
  • reduction of workplace contacts where possible and implementation of remote working practices and teleconferencing where possible and not to travel for meetings. Work time and break times should be staggered, where possible
  • restriction of visiting at hospitals, long term care settings, mental health facilities, prisons, and spacing measures in homeless shelters

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