Another two deaths from Covid-19 were confirmed by Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan.
You were a man and a woman in the east of the country. The woman had an underlying health condition.
This brings the number of deaths in Ireland to nine since the onset of the coronavirus.
At its daily meeting, the Health Protection Surveillance Center confirmed 235 new cases at 1:00 p.m. today.
This increases the number of confirmed Covid 19 cases in Ireland to 1,564.
They said 55% of the cases so far were male and 45% female, while the average age is 45 years.
Of the new cases, 39 are in intensive care, while 283 or 24% are healthcare workers.
The figures also showed that 49% of the positive cases were transmitted by the community, 23% by close contacts and 28% when traveling abroad.
Dublin has the highest number of cases with 559, followed by Cork with 133.
The Department of Health states that patient tracking is now limited to about five contacts per case, indicating that social distancing works.
Dr. Holohan says he saw no signs of complacency.
“People are concerned and a little more concerned that we understand. We believe that many more people are looking for tests that go far beyond what is possible,” he said.
“Over a week or so we have now predicted 350 cases a day, we have not seen that.
“It is too early for us to conclude whether this is due to social distance, but the contact tracking shows that people take note of the advice.”
The Department of Health today changed the criteria for testing for Covid-19 and now states that a person must have at least two symptoms and a priority for vulnerable groups to test.
Concerns have been raised about the policy change that would result in fewer tests.
Dr. Holohan said: “Our data yesterday showed that only 6% of our tests have been positive so far. For every 100 people tested, we only find 6 people with Covid-19. Against this background, our case definition has changed.
“Changing the case definition is standard practice when dealing with pandemics.
Dr. Ronan Glynn, deputy medical director, said the department wasn’t trying to hide numbers because the tests focus on those who are at risk and at the highest risk of exposure.
“The primary purpose of testing is primarily a public health purpose that helps us understand the extent of the disease, ensure that we are tracking contacts and that it is not spreading.
“That remains our strategy, but what we have said in the past 24 hours, the vast majority of people tested tested negative. In response, we tightened the case definition that we take up for people who have the disease and use resources more effectively to track their contacts.
“Our plan is to test as many as possible, but in the short term we are targeting the most vulnerable groups.
“We want to test more and more people in the coming weeks.”
Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer at HSE, said: “There has been continuous collaboration with general practitioners in the past 24 hours. General practitioners are best able to advise people with symptoms whether they need a test or not.
“Ultimately, the test has no impact on the clinical course of this disease and the priority for anyone with symptoms is to isolate themselves.”
- useful information
- The HSE has developed an information package on how you can protect yourself and others against corona viruses. Read it here
- Anyone with symptoms of a coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the past 14 days should isolate themselves from other people – this means that they are going to another, well-ventilated room with a phone alone. call your family doctor or emergency room;
- General practitioners are unable to order tests for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is a line of information and is also unable to arrange tests for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at any time.
- ALONE has established a national support line and additional support for the elderly who are concerned or experiencing difficulties related to the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ireland. The support team is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on 0818 222 024