The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that 17 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland have died.
8 of the deaths were located in the east of the country, 3 in the south, 3 in the north-west and 3 in the west of the country.
The patients included 4 females and 13 males and the median age of today’s reported deaths is 84.
8 patients of the patients had underlying health conditions.
It brings to 71 the number of COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
325 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Ireland today, including 6 in Clare, which means 40 cases have been recorded in this county so far, and 3,235 nationally.
The HSE is now working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
To date, 30,213 tests have been carried out in laboratories across the country, as of midnight, Monday 30 March.
Over the past week, the positivity rate for tests carried out increased from 6% to 15%.
The National Public Health Emergency Team met today and made a number of recommendations.
These include that there should be a focus on contact tracing on suspect cases within prioritised groups. The HPSC is to update guidance to GPs and contact tracing teams.
Contact tracing will encompass the period from 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms given the risk of asymptomatic transmission.
In response to infections in long term residential care (nursing homes, disability and mental health) and homecare settings, NPHET will work with the HSE to identify a number of measures which can be taken to strengthen support to staff and providers of nursing home care.
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “The measures that we have recommended today should significantly enhance the preparedness and response to cases and outbreaks in nursing homes and other residential settings.
“As we have said from the beginning our efforts must be focused on protecting the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and these recommendations announced today seek to achieve this.”
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “As the number of cases increase we are getting a better picture of our experience of this virus in our community.
“Today we are providing more information on cases in healthcare workers and deaths. We will continue to provide more details as reliable data emerges.”