Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.07 24 May 2020


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The latest figures on COVID-19 show there have been four further deaths in Ireland.

There have also been 57 confirmed cases, bringing the total to 24,639.

There have now been a total 1,608 coronavirus-related deaths here.

Data as of midnight on Friday reveals:

  • 57% are women and 43% are men
  • The median age of confirmed cases is 48 years
  • 3,222 cases (13%) have been hospitalised
  • Of those hospitalised, 394 cases have been admitted to ICU
  • 7,819 cases are associated with healthcare workers

Dublin has the highest number of cases at 11,873 (48% of all cases), followed by Cork with 1,428 cases (6%) and then Kildare with 1,392 cases (6%).

Of those for whom transmission status is known community transmission accounts for 59%, close contact accounts for 38% and travel abroad is 3%.

It comes amid debate over social distancing regulations.

The head of the Health Service Executive (HSE) Paul Reid has said any guidance on social distancing will only come from the NPHET.

However, he acknowledged that reducing social distancing limits would "significantly" increase hospital capacity.

The two metre rule to stop the spread of COVID-19 is still in place by Government, with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar saying there is no change.

Mr Reid said earlier: "From our perspective, the NPHET guidance and Government guidance at the minute is the two metre and that's what we are planning in terms of framework for new services to work through.

"Obviously that does have significant implications for us in terms of emergency departments, outpatients, waiting rooms, etc.

"So two metres will reduce the volume that we could have attending at a particular time.

"But we have to work off what the current guidance is - the current guidance is two metres."

While infectious diseases expert Professor Sam McConkey said any change to social distancing could see a delay in opening up areas of the economy.

"Certainly getting physically closer to each other certainly would allow restaurants and bars and so on to function better, and we'd all probably have a better time.

"That would inevitably lead to more transmission of COVID-19... the way droplets and things work often it's not just a simple linear relationship.

"When you're one metre rather than two [apart], it could be up to four-times more transmission that takes place when you're closer."

"That is one political choice... that we could make as a nation and say 'yes, we're going to get one metre from each other'.

"But then that would possibly mean that things like getting schools back or getting the airports open and tourists coming again might wait longer."

Main image: Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan speaking at a COVID-19 HSE briefing at the Department of Health in Dublin. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Deaths Ireland New Cases Paul Reid Professor Sam McConkey Social Distancing

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