Two more people have died from Covid-19 this Wednesday, and while there have been 235 new confirmed cases in Ireland, none of those have been in Limerick.
The total number of confirmed cases in the country is now 1,564.
The two fatalities, a man and a woman, were both resident in the east of the country; nine people in Ireland have now died from the virus.
While there have been no new confirmed cases in Limerick, rapidly increased testing in the coming days is expected to reveal a fuller picture of the virus' impact on the Mid-West.
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.
Today’s data from HPSC reveals:
· 55% are male and 45% are female, with 63 clusters involving 289 cases
· The median age of confirmed cases is 45 years
· 305 cases (26%) have been hospitalised
· Of those hospitalised, 39 cases have been admitted to ICU
· 283 cases (24%) are associated with healthcare workers
· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 559, (57% of all cases) followed by Cork with 133 cases (11%)
· Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 49%, close contact accounts for 23%, travel abroad accounts for 28%
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Our data showed yesterday that only 6% of our tests so far returned positive; so for every 100 people we test we are only finding 6 people with COVID-19. In light of this, our case definition changed.
“Changing case definition is a standard practice in managing pandemics. Ultimately, we want our 6% detected rate to increase, we want to find as many people as possible with COVID-19, isolate them and contain the spread.”
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said; “We are seeking to prioritise those who are to be tested with a focus in the short-term on those who are vulnerable and those who are at the highest risk to exposure.”
Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said; “There has been ongoing engagement with GPs over the past 24 hours. GPs are best placed to advise individuals 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.”
Information is available on HSE.ie or by calling the HSE helpline 1850 24 1850
The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet again on Thursday 26th March, to review Ireland’s ongoing preparedness and response to COVID-19.