22 coronavirus 'clusters' identified in nursing homes across Ireland
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22 coronavirus 'clusters' identified in nursing homes across Ireland

THE HEALTH Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has reported that there have been at least 22 coronavirus 'clusters' identified in nursing homes across the country, raising fears for both the residents and health care workers.

The most up-to-date data was released this morning and has shown a worrying number of cluster cases in vulnerable institutions such as nursing homes (22) and hospitals (19).

'Clusters' are characterised by any more than two coronavirus cases being linked together-- last week, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said the average number of cases in each identified cluster was between 5 and 6.

An analysis report released today by the HPSC has revealed that there were a total of 103 identified clusters in the Republic of Ireland as of midnight, March 27, resulting in 379 confirmed cases.

Out of the 22 nursing homes affected by the reported clusters, 20 are based in the east of the country, where 55.6% of all confirmed cases have been identified, and 2 are based in the northeast of the country.

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Of the 19 hospitals which have been confirmed as having clusters, 12 were in the east, 2 in the northeast, 2 in the south, 2 in the west and 1 in the midlands.

Smaller numbers of cluster cases have also been identified in workplaces and residential institutions, with one cluster identified in a pub and a hotel.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, today met representatives of the Nursing Homes Ireland to discuss the growing crisis, and said that the National Public Health Emergency Team will be discussing new measures to protect nursing homes for the duration of the pandemic.

You can read the full analysis, including a county-by-county breakdown of the number of confirmed cases, in the HPSC's report.