Twelve more confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Limerick as death toll in the country is now 158

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

more confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Limerick as death toll in the country is now

THE number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Limerick has risen by 12, it was revealed this Sunday evening.

There are now 128 cases in Limerick out of 4,994 nationally.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that 21 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 in Ireland have died - 17 deaths located in the east, 2 in the south, 2 in the west of the country

The patients were 9 females and 12 males. 12 patients were reported as having underlying health conditions. Median age of today’s reported deaths is 81. There have now been 158 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland. The median age of deaths in Ireland is 81.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed of 390 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, as at 1pm, Sunday, April 5. There are now 4,994 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

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.

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, Department of Health, said: "This past week has proven that the nation is working hard, together, by staying at home to flatten the curve.

"If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 you need to self-isolate and phone your GP. I ask that everyone inform themselves on what to do in the instance they develop symptoms, as well as how to maintain their health and wellbeing. Support and guidance is available on gov.ie/health and HSE.”

Meanwhile, there are 25 confirmed Covid-19 admissions in University Hospital Limerick, according to figures revealed on Sunday.

Of the 25, five were in a critical care unit, as of Saturday. The number of suspected Covid-19 cases awaiting results in relation to UHL is 69 - the highest in the country. Second on the list is Beaumount with 49. 

Last month, when University of Limerick president Dr Des Fitzgerald said that its grounds could be used for a field hospital, many thought he was being alarmist. However, the words of the cardiologist and former Professor of Molecular Medicine at UCD have come to pass.

CEO UL Hospitals Colette Cowan confirmed to Eric Clarke of Virgin Media News over the weekend that work is at an advanced stage.

"We are aiming to put in 120 beds in a field hospital type scenario that will really help us to move patients out of this hospital that are starting to recover. We need staff to do it so I am putting a call to action to the staff of the region - we need professionals that will work in that Covid hospital," said Ms Cowan.

As well as the field hospital in UL, other measures the UL Hospitals Group have been implementing are more capacity in intensive care in UHL, up to 60 additional isolation beds including a rapid build 24-bed isolation unit in UHL and in Croom Hospital. Work is already underway on the 24-bed isolation unit at UHL which is expected to be completed in early July.

"We are ready for the surge and we will hit it full force but if it people don't social distance we wont be able to cope for the influx," said Ms Cowan.

Separately, on Sunday the HSE revealed that a self-isolation unit similar to the Citywest Hotel in Dublin is planned for Limerick

On Saturday, chief clinical director for UL Hospitals Group, Dr Gerry Burke tweeted a photo of a colossal tank of oxygen being installed on the University Hospital Limerick site. He went on to say that it was found, delivered and installed with great urgency, thanks to the singular efforts of CEO UL Hospitals Colette Cowan.

It also emerged over the weekend that a temporary mortuary is nearing completion at Sarsfield Barracks.