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341 in hospital but new hope as Dublin's rate of infection falls

939 new cases and 3 deaths, with Cavan still the hardest hit

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A deserted Grafton Street yesterday

A deserted Grafton Street yesterday

A deserted Grafton Street yesterday

There were 939 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed yesterday and three more people have died - but Dublin has recorded the ninth lowest two-week incidence rate nationally, showing early Level 3 results may be having an effect.

As of 2pm yesterday, 341 Covid-19 patients had been hospitalised.

Thirty-eight of these were in ICU and 16 additional hospitalisations had taken place in the last 24 hours.

Of the cases notified yesterday: 262 are in Dublin, 96 are in Cork, 61 are in Meath, 53 are in Galway, 51 are in Donegal while the remaining 413 cases were reported across all remaining counties.

Yesterday saw Cavan record the highest two-week incidence rate for the virus - with 967.5 cases per 100,000 cases, compared to an average of 309 per 100,000 for the country as a whole.

Highest

Co Meath recorded the second highest incidence rate with 667 per 100,000.

Sligo recorded the third highest with 442.5.

However, there seemed to be some positive signs for Dublin, which was placed in Level 3 ahead of the rest of the country last month.

The capital recorded the ninth lowest incidence rate of the virus in the country, with 258.1 cases per 100,000 for the past two weeks.

However Donegal, which was also placed into Level 3 early, recorded the eighth highest two-week incidence rate despite the measures, with 329.8 cases per 100,000.

Irish doctor Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, told a press conference yesterday: "Sometimes in a race you can use certain tactics.

"Right now we are well behind this virus, so getting ahead of it will take some serious measures.

"As we have seen in other countries, once you get ahead, you can stay ahead.

"Contacts, community engagement, support people in quarantine.

"We will have to get ahead of the virus and it may be a further sacrifice in people's lives."

Dr Ryan said there was a "difficulty" for the European Union to "put walls up when the EU spent 70 years breaking down walls".

But he accepted that there are "so many land borders", adding "we have to look at that seriously in terms of the European Union.

"It may require shutting down and restrictions to take the heat out of the pandemic."

At last Thursday's Department of Health Covid-19 briefing, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan warned that hospitalisations were likely to rise in the coming weeks, and these represent a delayed sign of increased infection among the population.

Dr Holohan also pointed out that unless community transmission is slowed, it would be impossible to protect vulnerable people, such as those living in nursing homes.

Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) says it is currently dealing with 40 outbreaks in nursing homes.

Tadhg Daly, chief executive of NHI, told Newstalk high levels of community transmission "pose an existential threat to all nursing homes".

115,138 tests have been carried out in the last seven days and the positivity rate has dropped from 6.9pc to 6.2pc in the last week.

A total of 57,128 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Ireland since the first case in March, while 1,882 people have died from the virus.

Men

1,025 cases were confirmed by the Department of Health on Sunday.

Yesterday 444 men were ill with the virus while 483 women had become unwell.

Sixty-six per cent are under 45 years of age and the median age is 32.

There are now a total of 58,067 confirmed cases in Ireland.


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