Latest news updates for 4th April 2020.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that 17 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland have died.
15 deaths located in the east, 1 in the south, 1 in the west of the country.
The patients included 4 females and 13 males.
13 patients were reported as having underlying health conditions and the median age of today’s reported deaths is 77.
There have now been 137 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland with the median age of deaths in Ireland is 81.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed of 331 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, as of 1pm, Saturday 4th April.
There are now 4,604 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland - 176 are in the midlands region.
Westmeath has increased from 86 to 92.
Offaly had another 16 patients diagnosed bringing its total to 63.
Meanwhile, Laois had its largest daily jump of 5 cases. There are now 21 with the illness in the county.
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.
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “This week, the National Public Health Emergency Team made a range of recommendations to support the response in nursing homes and long-term residential facilities to COVID-19. This remains a priority for our focused attention and we will continue to monitor the rate of infection within these environments and support the sector through this outbreak.
“The nationwide, collective effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 has been inspiring. We must keep up this effort, continue to protect the vulnerable in our society and ultimately flatten the curve.”
Today’s data from HPSC, as of midnight, Thursday 2nd April 2020 (4,014 cases), reveals:
48% are male and 52% are female, with 206 clusters involving 838 cases
Median age of confirmed cases is 48 years
1,118 cases (28%) have been hospitalised
Of those hospitalised, 158 cases have been admitted to ICU
1,084 cases (27%) are associated with healthcare workers
Dublin has the highest number of cases at 2,251 (56% of all cases) followed by Cork with 304 cases (8%)
Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 62%, close contact accounts for 24%, travel abroad accounts for 14%.
A group helping Irish medics get home to help out with the pandemic response, says twenty more doctors will arrive by next week.
The Answering Ireland's Call campaign has been providing financial and logistical support.
The first doctor it helped arrived here this morning, and will spend the next two weeks in isolation before going to work.
Neil Sands, who started the activist network, says it's just the beginning:
SIPTU wants the Department of Health to provide a list of facilities that have cases of Covid-19 to protect healthcare workers.
Over 940 have tested positive for the disease across the country, which accounts for 26 percent of the country's total number of cases.
The union is calling on health officials to release the list to unions and not to make it public, just to make staff more informed.
It's Divisional Health Organizer is Paul Bell - he says healthcare workers deserve to know:
A new 72 million euro support scheme has been announced by the Government to help nursing homes deal with Covid-19.
The financial assistance and staff are to be screened daily for Covid-19.
They're just some of the new measures announced by government aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
40 clusters have so far been identified in nursing homes across the country.
The movements of staff across the different facilities will also be limited.
Infection control teams are being set up and will advise nursing homes dealing with clusters.
Staff will also be provided with personal protective equipment and they'll get added training.
Health Minister Simon Harris says a number of other measures are also being introduced:
Another 708 people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus - including the youngest ever English victim aged five - taking the UK's total to 4,313.
It includes another 8 deaths in Northern Ireland bringing the total there to 56.
Public Health England says the oldest patient who died was 104.
A five year old is thought to be the youngest person in England to die from coronavirus so far.
Scientists have criticised celebrities who are sharing conspiracy theories linking 5G technology with the coronavirus.
Cheers actor Woody Harrelson and former Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner are among stars who've posted articles online.
But researchers say there's no connection - and have called theorists a "public health danger".
Two phone masts have already been attacked in Sparkhill in the West Midlands and on Merseyside in the UK.
Mulan and Black Widow are among major movies getting new release dates.
Film production has all but stopped and cinemas are shut for the foreseeable future as part of the coronavirus lockdown measures.
A string of blockbuster movies are on hold, including productions from Disney and the next seven entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
We need you to stay at home to save lives. Thank you for all you are doing. It is and will continue to make a huge difference. Keep well. Mind each other. In this together #covid19 #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/R92bZ72lx0— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) April 4, 2020
Across Ireland, people are responding to calls to help those who need extra care during the current crisis.
Many local pharmacies have set up delivery services to get essential medicines to people who can't leave home or who are cocooning.
UCD students have also set up a voluntary service around the country called the Covid-19 Medicine Delivery Group.
One of the students who set it up, Larissa Manojlovich, explains how other students can get involved:
Lower risk prisoners in the UK who are in the last two months of their jail sentences will be considered for early release.
There are fears a coronavirus outbreak among inmates could leave hospitals overwhelmed.
Under emergency powers, they'd be able to leave on temporary licence but could be recalled.
The offenders will also have to pass a risk assessment and will be monitored electronically.
There are now 40 clusters of Covid 19 cases in nursing homes across the country.
The government's expected to announce new measures later aimed at tackling the outbreaks.
Professor Mary Horgan, a consultant in Infectious Diseases at Cork University Hospital, says it's important more is done to protect residents there:
Almost a thousand healthcare workers in the Republic have now tested positive for Covid 19.
New HSE figures also show 148 people are being treated in intensive care units - most of them are under 65.
There are now over 4,200 cases of coronavirus here and 120 people have died.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, says healthcare staff now account for a quarter of cases but the majority didn't pick it up while at work:
More than 70 Irish citizens are due back in Ireland on a rescue flight from India.
They're among a number of British and EU citizens on board the plane which took off from Goa this morning
It's due to arrive in London later today.
The Irish citizens are among the thousands the government's trying to repatriate since the coronavirus crisis began over a month ago.
Great work by our team in @IrlEmbIndia to get rescue flight off the ground. 70+ Irish citizens on board. Working with our 🇬🇧 friends too to bring them home along with many other 🇪🇺 citizens. Thanks to everyone for patience and cooperation. @dfatirl https://t.co/t4r3fCMirF— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) April 4, 2020
Americans are being advised to wear face masks to combat the spread of coronavirus - but Donald Trump says he won't be following the guidelines.
The advice has been issued as the number of deaths in the US tops 7 thousand - 3 thousand of them have been in New York.
There are also more than a quarter of a million cases across the country.
President Trump says the guidance on face masks isn't mandatory:
The role of An Post workers has changed drastically over the last few weeks due to coronavirus.
The company's post men and women are now also delivering papers, groceries and checking on older and vulnerable people in our community.
Postman John Doyle, from Newbridge in Co.Kildare, says even just a smile can help someone who is feeling isolated:
Thirteen residents at a Glasgow care home have died in the space of a week after a suspected outbreak of coronavirus.
Two of the care home's staff members are also being treated in separate hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19.
The company that runs the care home says its following strict protocols on infectious diseases.
More than 800 people have died in Spain over the last 24 hours, after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
That takes the total number of deaths there to more than 11,500.
The country now has nearly 125,000 cases of Covid-19 - that's more than 7,000 since yesterday.
It puts Spain ahead of Italy as the nation with the second-most infections behind the US.
The head of Ireland's largest hotel chain says his main concern is how long it might take for people to feel safe getting on planes again.
Dalata boss Pat McCann has shut down two thirds of the group's 44 hotels in Ireland and the UK with beds turned over the the health service.
He says Ireland's biggest tourist markets have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic:
The 173rd running of the Aintree Grand National today will take place in virtual form after the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.
The pre-recorded event uses algorithms and CGI animation to run the race and aims to recreate the famous steeplechase as closely as possible.
ITV is set to air the virtual race at 5pm.
The UK is reporting a rise in the number of bogus medical products online that claim to treat or prevent Covid-19.
They include self-testing kits, 'miracle cures' and 'antiviral misting sprays'.
The UK's regulatory agency says it's investigating 14 cases of unlicensed items being sold through unauthorised websites.
Flatting the curve:
The Chief Medical Officer says the next 7 to 10 days will be "crucial" for knowing when the coronavirus will be at its peak in Ireland.
Another 424 new cases were confirmed last night, bringing the total to 4,273.
A further 22 people with the virus have died, with the death toll now standing at 120.
18 of them were in the east, 3 in the south and 1 in the west of the country.
A 99-year-old woman's believed to be the oldest person in the UK to recover from coronavirus.
End-of-life drugs had been ordered for Rita Reynolds who's based at a care home in Stockport in Greater Manchester.
But after falling ill 10 days ago, she's now said to be looking forward to turning 100 in July
Up to 30 percent more people are using broadband since the beginning of the Covid 19 crisis, according to one service provider.
The combination of people working remotely and children using online services for study and play, has led to a surge in usage.
Providers are advising consumers to locate the router near the centre of your household to make the most of the service.
Paul Connell, CEO of Pure Telecom, says the surge in demand has been astonishing.
The ISPCA is warning that Covid-19 is putting growing pressure on their services because their re-homing is currently suspended.
The organisation is making an urgent appeal for donations to help cope with the number of vulnerable animals they now have to keep in their centre for longer than usual.
CEO, Andrew Kelly, says volunteers are also no longer able to travel to help out at their rescue centres.
The Chief Medical Officer has raised concerns about the rising number of coronavirus cases in nursing homes.
There have been 38 outbreaks in those settings so far, with most of them in the east of the country.
Last night, the Department of Health confirmed another 22 deaths from Covid 19, bringing the death toll to 120.
There are also 424 new cases, with the total now standing at 4,273.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says dealing with clusters in nursing homes has to be a priority.
China is holding a national day of mourning for those who've died from coronavirus.
More than 3-thousand people have passed away in the country after testing positive for Covid-19, while there are more than 80-thousand recorded cases there.
Activity in all major cities has been stopped and a three-minute reflection's been held.
Another 22 people have died from Covid 19 in the Republic while 424 new cases have been confirmed.
It brings the death toll here to 120.
The total number of cases now stands at 4273.
There are 149 people in the midlands with the illness.
pWestmeath has the highest number of cases in the region with 86 - up from 81 yesterday.
Offaly's number increased by just one to 47.
Meanwhile, Laois seen no rise and remains at 16.