'Day of hope' as Ireland records first day with no coronavirus deaths since March

'Day of hope' as Ireland records first day with no coronavirus deaths since March

IRELAND HAS reached a significant milestone in its fight against coronavirus as there have been no coronavirus-related deaths recorded for the first time n over two months.

The National Public Health Emergency Team revealed at the daily press briefing yesterday evening that as of 5.45pm on Monday, 25 May, there have been no new deaths in the Republic-- the first day with no deaths reported since March 21.

There have been a total of 1,606 coronavirus-related deaths in Ireland since the pandemic began; two earlier cases have been denotified.

A further 59 new cases of Covid-19 were also confirmed at yesterday's press briefing, another consistent drop in figures which have been on a steadily downward trend for over  week now.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wrote in a short statement that the country had reached a "significant milestone today".

"First day with no reported [Covid-19] deaths since March 21st.

"This is a day of hope. We will prevail."

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health, says the new figures shows that Ireland has successfully suppressed Covid-19.

"The number of new cases and reported deaths over the past week indicates that we have suppressed COVID-19 as a country," he said.

"It has taken strict measures to achieve this. It will take another week to see any effect on disease incidence that might arise from the easing of measures in Phase 1."

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health, warned against complacency and referred to a new study which indicated 61% of Irish people expect a second wave of the virus.

"According to research conducted on behalf of the Department of Health, 61% of people think it likely that Ireland will experience a second wave of COVID-19," Dr Glynn said.

“While NPHET continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19, both here in Ireland and internationally, ultimately it is the collective behaviours of each individual which will determine the course of this disease. The importance of regular hand washing, physical distance and cough/sneeze etiquette cannot be underestimated."

Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist and HSE Integrated Care Lead, said:

"If a person is experiencing symptoms of any condition, including symptoms associated with conditions for which there are screening programmes, it is important to make early contact with you doctor and not await a routine screening appointment.

"GP clinics have remained open throughout the pandemic and will continue to be available to the public in these circumstances."

Ireland has been in Phase 1 of the planned reopening of the country since 18 May, and will move to phase 2 on 8 June, new cases permitting.