BREAKING: Limerick's latest Covid figures revealed as new guidance on nursing home visitation is issued

Louth sees 22 new Covid-19 cases in past two days

THERE are 20 new cases of Covid-19 in Limerick according to latest figures released this Thursday evening.

And the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 10 additional deaths related to the virus across the country. 8 deaths occurred in March, 1 in February and 1 in January.

The median age of those who died was 75 years and the age range was 0 - 84 years.

As of midnight, Wednesday, the HPSC has been notified of 592 more confirmed cases of Covid-19. Of the cases notified today:

299 are men / 288 are women
72% are under 45 years of age
The median age is 32 years old
253 in Dublin, 52 in Kildare, 35 in Donegal, 33 in Meath, 28 in Galway and the remaining 191 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 8am today, 359 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 87 are in ICU. 32 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

As of March 8th, 536,617 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:

382,528 people have received their first dose
154,089  people have received their second dose

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Heath said; “Today marks one year since we reported Ireland’s first death related to Covid-19. More than 4,500 people have lost their lives with this disease. We remember them, and their families and friends, as well as the many people who remain seriously ill or who are dealing with long-term health issues because of Covid-19.

“We now have three vaccines and a fourth authorised by the European Medicines Agency today, which offers us a way out of this pandemic. We must continue to protect as many people as possible from the severe effects of Covid-19 and to give people a chance to become vaccinated over the next number of weeks and months.

“Your efforts to limit contacts and follow the public health advice is not in vain, it is to protect people and it directly saves lives.”

Today, NPHET endorsed new HPSC guidance on nursing home visitation which allows for more regular visiting. The new guidance comes into effect from the 22nd of March 2021.

Professor Martin Cormican, Clinical Lead for Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, HSE said; “Under the new guidance, residents may be facilitated to receive two visits per week on general compassionate grounds. This will be possible following two weeks after a high proportion of residents and healthcare workers have been vaccinated. There is no requirement to limit visits to less than one hour.

“Nursing home residents have been particularly impacted by the severity of Covid-19 restrictions. Thanks to vaccination we are delighted to be in a position to recommend new guidance and hopefully relieve residents and their families of some of the isolation they have endured for so long.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said; “We are seeing continued, slow progress across all indicators of Covid-19. There are some concerning trends in the data and as the incidence remains high, our situation is precarious. Increases in mobility and workplace attendance could potentially increase infection in the coming weeks. The R- number is estimated as stable at 0.6-1.0, but it is essential over the next few weeks that we stay home, continue to limit our contacts and suppress transmission.”

Professor Karina Butler, Chair of National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) said; “We welcome the European Medicines Agency’s conclusion that Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality. Pending EU Commission approval, it could become the fourth effective vaccine available to Ireland which is a very welcome development.”

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.