Coronavirus: Three More Deaths And 606 New Cases

National news updates on Thursday 25th March.

Latest figures:

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 3 additional deaths related to COVID-19.

Of the deaths reported today, 2 occurred in March and 1 in February.

There has been a total of 4,631 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight, Wednesday 24th March, the HPSC has been notified of 606 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 232,758 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today:

• 298 are men / 305 are women

• 75% are under 45 years of age

• The median age is 33 years old

• 249 in Dublin, 57 in Donegal, 39 in Kildare, 32 in Meath, 31 in Louth and the remaining 198 cases are spread across all other counties*.

As of 8am today, 312 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 75 are in ICU. 24 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

As of March 22nd 2021, 690,449 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:

• 503,796 people have received their first dose

• 186,653 people have received their second dose

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “The vast majority of people are making a huge sacrifice and missing time with loved ones in order for us to stay on course with the public health guidance.

However, we know that in the week ending March 14th, approximately one-in-ten people visited another household for social reasons, with most of these visits involving time spent indoors. While this clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of people are sticking with the public health guidance, it does represent a significant change versus January when just one in 20 people were visiting other homes for social reasons. Please continue to stick with the public heath advice and avoid visiting other homes at this time – do not give this virus the opportunities it is seeking to spread.”

Dr. Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive Officer, Health Products Regulatory Authority said: “People can be assured about the transparency and honesty of the vaccines monitoring and approvals process. Where there is any indication of concern in relation to side effects of a vaccine, even in a very small number of cases across the EU, we have seen that appropriate steps will be taken to ensure further investigation if needed. There are risks associated with all vaccines but with COVID-19, the benefits of a vaccine far outweighs the risks for a very small number of cases. Rigorous monitoring and safety reporting is ongoing by the HPRA in partnership with our EU partners. We have three safe and effective vaccines, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and Moderna and we will shortly add the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to increase the roll out of protection against this highly transmissible disease.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “We are experiencing a levelling off in the daily incidence rate of COVID-19 and the concern is that we could so easily move backwards and undo the progress that has been hard-earned since the beginning of the year. The pattern isn’t entirely clear and continues to be volatile, so we’ll be monitoring this quite carefully over the coming weeks. It is important to remember that when the infection gets into a household the transmission rates are very high – up to one third of contacts within a household will subsequently become infected. It is critically important during this very volatile stage that we minimise our contacts where possible and follow public health advice.”

Dr. Miriam Owens, Director of Public Health, HSE, said: “Today sees the opening of new walk-in test centres in areas of high transmission to enable increased ease of access to testing facilities for people who don’t have symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, I would encourage you to contact your GP to arrange a test as soon as possible. Together we can break the chains of transmission of this infection, by washing our hands, keeping a safe distance and by avoiding all non-essential activity where you are mixing with others.”

 

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community including daily data on Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

 

 

*County data should be considered provisional as the national Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting System (CIDR) is a dynamic system and case details are continually being validated and updated.

 

Today’s cases, 5-day moving average of new cases, 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population and new cases in last 14 days (as of midnight 24 March 2021) (incidence rate based on Census 2016 county population)

County

Today's cases (to midnight 24Mar2021)

5 day moving average (to midnight 24Mar2021)

14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population (11Mar2021 to 24Mar2021)

New Cases during last 14 days (11Mar2021 to 24Mar2021)

Ireland

606

589

159.5

         7,597

Offaly

29

33

450.2

            351

Westmeath

9

12

157.7

            140

Laois

6

10

116.9

               99

Study:

Children are reportedly spending four more hours a day in their bedroom as a result of the pandemic.

A study in the UK shows almost half of parents are concerned their kids have been negatively affected by the amount of time they spend in the same place.

Many say their youngsters have a shorter temper, are more easily distracted and have less confidence.

Economy:

It will be 2023 at the earliest when unemployment rates in Ireland drop to pre-pandemic levels.

It's one of the findings of the latest economic commentary from the ESRI, which predicts GDP to increase up by around 4 per cent this year.

It's predicting the economy will bounce back in the second half of the year, providing restrictions are eased and the vaccination rollout is successful.

Children:

The number of cases of Covid-19 among children has increased by over 26 per cent in two weeks. 

2,186 boys and girls tested positive in the 14-day period that ended on Monday. 

That's 460 more than the previous two weeks, when 1,728 children picked up the virus.

Dr Martin Daly, a GP in Ballygar, Co Galway, says he has experienced a similar trend recently. 

Vaccine Supply:

The Taoiseach and other EU leaders will discuss Covid-19 vaccine supply problems at a virtual summit today and tomorrow. 

They will also speak about the worsening virus situation, with a 13 per cent increase in cases in Europe last week. 

The controversy over vaccine exports will also be addressed - and US president Joe Biden will join by video-conference this evening. 

Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, is confident the vaccine shortfalls will improve and Ireland will catch up on Britain:

Five Kilometres:

Rural TDs in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are revolting against the 5km travel limit - insisting it must be lifted on April 5th. 

They expressed frustration at the lockdown measure during parliamentary party meetings last night.

Speaking to his party, the Taoiseach acknowledged people are "fed up" but he said the country's progress remains "fragile".

A decision on whether to ease the lockdown is expected next week.

It comes as a further 683 new Covid-19 cases and 18 deaths have been confirmed.

UCC virus expert, Professor Gerry Killeen, doesn't believe easing restrictions right now is the correct call:

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