ONE MAN has died in the past 24 hours as a result of contracting Covid-19.
The Department of Health yesterday announced the death of a patient who had been battling coronavirus.
The patient, said to be a male with an underlying health condition, was being treated in the east of the country.
His sad passing brings the total number of deaths from the virus in Ireland to 7.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre yesterday was also informed of 204 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the Republic, bringing the total to 1,329.
The HSE is working rapidly to trace any close contacts the newly confirmed cases may have had, in order to advise and slow the spread of the virus.
At the time of writing, Northern Ireland has 172 confirmed cases, with five deaths related to Covid-19, meaning the island of Ireland has suffered 12 deaths and has a total of 1,501 confirmed cases.
While the new figures in the Republic seem frightening, it is important to note that the projected 30% rise in cases each day has not been realised, and the Department of Health have confirmed that close contact of confirmed case have dropped from 20+ down to an average of 5, meaning Government guidelines on social distancing and self isolating could well be working.
The Government have now introduced new restrictions regarding who will be offered a test in the Republic of Ireland.
Those concerned they may have contracted the virus must have two symptoms-- i.e a fever and a cough or shortness of breath.
Priority testing will be offered to health care workers on the frontlines, the immunocompromised or pregnant people.
Speaking on the new measures, Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer for the 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.”