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One more death from Covid-19, 11 additional cases

One more person has died from Covid-19 in Ireland bringing the overall death toll to 1,736.

Eleven more cases of the coronavirus have also been diagnosed in the Republic, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 25,473.

In Northern Ireland, no deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours. The official death toll remains at 551.

However, three new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, taking the total number of cases identified to 5,760. 

The Department of Health in Northern Ireland reported a fourth consecutive day without coronavirus patients in ICU. 

The latest official figures show there are 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in intensive care units in the Republic.

There have been no admissions of Covid-19 cases to ICU in the last 24 hours.

There are 20 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in hospital and no admissions to hospital with the virus in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the HSE and Department of Health say a contact tracing app is ready but its launch is subject to Government approval.

The app will record if the phone user has been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement to RTÉ, the HSE said it has provided all the required information to the Department of Health and the app has passed through the Apple and Google review process.

It said contact tracing and early identification of symptoms are becoming increasingly important as restrictions ease.

The Department of Health has also confirmed that the app “is ready to deploy”.

It said all pre-launch testing has been completed and the commitments to openness and transparency have been honoured.

The Department said preparations to embed the app within national testing and contact tracing operations are also complete and it is now a matter for the Government to approve.

It said the app will be considered at a forthcoming Government meeting.


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Last night, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan expressed concern over a “worrying trend” of cases of Covid-19 rising in Ireland as well as “some new clusters”.

One of those clusters was located in the northwest of Ireland and transmission was travel-related.

A virologist at Trinity College Dublin said a mandatory quarantine at Irish airports would be a much stronger system for identifying travellers infected with the coronavirus and countries that have been successful at identifying infected people are using mandatory quarantine at hotels. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sarah McInerney, Professor Kim Roberts said testing people arriving at airports is not enough as “it just gives a snapshot”, but when people are monitored for a time in quarantine the system is more effective. 

She said international travel is a privilege and, along with other restrictions being eased, needs to be appreciated and respected. 

Prof Roberts also said that younger people are socialising more and meeting people and the best way they can protect themselves is to socially distance, wash their hands and limit time spent with other people. 

She said it is “really worth remembering that anyone could have a serious infection with the virus and we are not bullet proof no matter what age we are” and while some young people who contract Covid-19 may have mild symptoms they could pass the virus on to more vulnerable people. 

Professor of Public Health at the University of Bristol Gabriel Scally said the current system of asking people to self-isolate after travel is not a strong one and the Government needs to re-examine it. 

He said he would go further than Dr Holohan’s call for people not to travel abroad and insist on compulsory quarantine on their return to Ireland, if they do so. 

Speaking on the same programme, he said the level of infection in different places is changing all the time and this is the year people should spend their money at home and help the economy recover. 

Significant risk of getting very, very sick – says professor

Professor Sam McConkey, the Infectious Disease specialist at the Royal College of Surgeons, has said data from China and here has shown that for those aged between 20 and 50, there’s a one in 1,000 chance that they could die from Covid-19.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Professor McConkey said: “There’s a very significant risk of getting very, very sick and not surviving it.”

He said, now that restrictions have eased further, people should seek GP care quickly if they have any symptoms of a runny nose, headaches, aches and pains, fever or coughs.

He urged people to keep their social networks small, wear a mask, use tissues, wash your hands and if you test positive, stay isolated and tell your contacts to do likewise.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health has said that wearing a face covering on public transport is strongly recommended.

It added that regulations on the mandatory wearing of face coverings on public transport are currently being prepared by the Department of Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport and the Department of Health.

For Covid-19, the World Health Organization says that data to date suggests that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic; 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical, requiring ventilation.




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