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Coronavirus: One Death Confirmed

National News 16th July 2020.

Latest figures:

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that 1 person with COVID-19 has died.

There has now been a total of 1,749 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight Wednesday 15th July, the HPSC has been notified of 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 25,698* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

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

No new confirmed cases have emerged in the midlands.

There's been no increase in Westmeath in seven days, the total number of cases there remains on 676.

No increase in the Offaly for ten days, the total there is 486.

And there's been no rise in Laois' 265 cases for 24 days.

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “The cases which we will report next week have already been seeded, however we have the power to limit the spread and impact of this disease beyond that; the way we do so is through following public health advice, avoiding high risk situations and encouraging our friends and family to do the same.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said; “Our best estimate of the R-number currently stands at 1.4 but it could be as high as 1.8. We have an opportunity now to maintain suppression of the virus.”

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.

*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 6 confirmed cases. The figure of 25,698 confirmed cases reflects this.

Weddings:

The decision to delay the numbers allowed at indoor gatherings has been described as nonsensical by a leading wedding planner. 

Gatherings of 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors will now not be allowed until August 10th. 

The current limits of 50 and 200 respectively will apply until then.

Sharon Griffin, Owner of Frog Prince Weddings, says it came as a major disappointment to many couples:

Travel:

The government still intends to publish a 'green list' of countries that are safe to travel to next Monday. 

Professor Sam McConkey, president of the Infectious Diseases Society of Ireland, says it could include a lot of Europe:

Masks:

Facemasks are also set to be made mandatory in all shops while gatherings in houses are to be limited to 10 visitors.

Retail Excellence Ireland says it's not clear yet who will enforce the rules that make masks in shops mandatory.

Managing Director Duncan Graham believes it's down to common sense:

Alcohol:

The Government should consider banning the sale of alcohol in supermarkets according to the Vintners Federation of Ireland.

Pub owners say they're gobsmacked the Government has delayed the reopening of all pubs until August 10th.

It's because of an increase in the reproductive rate of Covid-19.

Only ten people can now gather in a household over concerns house parties are leading to a rise in infections.

Padraig Cribben from the VFI says the Government should consider banning the sale of alcohol if that's the case:

Gatherings:

Gatherings of up 100 people indoors and 500 outdoors now won't be allowed until August 10th. 

The current limits of 50 and 200 respectively will apply until then. 

Elaina Fitzgerald-Kane, president of the Irish Hotels Federation, says that's a big blow to the hospitality sector:

Dictionary:

A whole new set of words related to Covid-19 will be added to the Oxford Dictionary soon.

New meanings associated with words used during the pandemic include face-covering, contact-tracing and R-Number.

The word Zoom will also mean "to communicate with a person or a group over the internet using the Zoom application."

Jobs:

Job postings increased by 14 per cent in the period from May to June as the economy continues to deal with the effects of the pandemic.

June 30th was the busiest day for adding vacancies to the site Irish Jobs dot ie - it coincides with the beginning of phase 3 of restrictions being eased.

However, the total volume of jobs on offer has dropped by over half since February.

Orla Moran, general manager at the website, says the restrictions have had a huge impact on the number of jobs available.

Vinters Federation: 

Padraig Cribben, chief executive of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, says the decision to delay the reopening of all pubs is 'absolutely shocking'. 

He says publicans will now need extra funding from the government to prevent them closing for good:

Restrictions:

The Health Minister has played down the impact of foreign travel on the spread of the coronavirus following the news Ireland won't be moving to phase four of the easing of Coronavirus restrictions next week. 

The reproductive rate of the virus has now increased to between 1.2 and 1.8 and phase four has been delayed until August 10th.

It means pubs, nightclubs and casinos can't re-open and restrictions on public gatherings remain in place.

Face-coverings in all shops will become mandatory and no more than 10 people can attend social gatherings in a house. 

A 'green list' for international travel will be published on Monday - and Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has played down the impact of tourists on the spread of the virus:

Latest Figures:

There's been no reported increase in the number of covid-19 cases in the midlands - leaving the total at 1,427.

It's now been 23 days since Laois last had a new case, nine days in Offaly, and six in Westmeath.

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