The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that a patient diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland has died.
The patient is a male and in the east of the country, with an underlying health condition.
There have now been seven COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed of 204 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, as at 1pm, Tuesday 24 March.
There are now 1,329 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.
To date, 17,992 tests have been carried out in laboratories across the country, as of midnight last night.
The Department of Health has today launched a new COVID-19 Information Dashboard; providing up to date case information – gov.ie/covid19Dashboard
The National Public Health Emergency Team met last night and this morning to review Ireland’s response to COVID-19 preparedness.
The following recommendations were made by the National Public Health Emergency Team and today adopted by Government:
· Ireland has adopted the World Health Organisation case definition for COVID-19; A patient with fever and at least one sign of respiratory disease e.g. cough, shortness of breath.
· Individuals should work from home unless attendance at the workplace is absolutely essential.
· Non-essential retail outlets are to close to members of the public. Essential retail outlets are to implement strict physical distancing measures.
· All sporting events are cancelled, including those behind closed doors.
· All playgrounds and holiday/ caravan parks are closed.
· All organised social indoor or outdoor events of any size are not to take place.
· All cafes and restaurants are to operate on a take-away or delivery basis. Strict physical distancing measures apply to queuing for this service.
· People should not use public transport unless it is absolutely necessary.
A comprehensive list of new measures is available here.
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “We are now in the crucial weeks of our response to COVID-19. All actions we take are based on epidemiological evidence and in proportion to our experience on this island.
“As we learn more about this disease, we are prioritising who will be tested. If you are not in a priority group, you might not be tested. However, if you have the symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself.”
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Priority groups for testing include close contacts of a confirmed case with symptoms, healthcare workers with symptoms and people who are vulnerable with symptoms.
“Whether you are tested or not, the advice remains the same; if you have any symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself for 14 days to help stop the spread of this disease. Household contacts of a suspected case should restrict their contacts for 14 days.”
Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said; “14,692 samples have been tested at the NVRL, of which 93% returned negative.
“Ireland is following WHO advice to “test, test, test” and is in the top quartile in terms of number of tests we have performed per capita. This, alongside physical distancing measures and intensive contact tracing, is deemed best practice internationally for dealing with this threat.”
Analysis of public health contact tracing has shown that the average number of close contacts per confirmed case has decreased from 20+ to the region of 5 contacts. This shows that the public is following health advise and actively limiting the amount of people they engage with.
NPHET will meet again on Thursday 26th March, to review Ireland’s ongoing preparedness and response to COVID-19.