The Department of Health announced this evening that an additional 54 cases of coronavirus have been identified in Ireland.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 223.
Of the 54 new cases:
There have been two deaths associated with Covid-19 in Ireland.
The HSE is now working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients may have had, to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
The National Public Health Emergency Team met today, Monday 16 March, and made the following decisions:
Today, the WHO called on all countries to test every suspected case of Covid-19. There are now 5 hospital sites around the country (in addition to the NVRL) providing testing. This number will increase over the coming week. Additional laboratory capacity will be accessed as required.
Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said: “We are working closely with ICGP to manage the rapid increase in requests for testing. If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, self isolate and phone your GP, who will assess your need for a test. We ask people to be patient as we increase the number of staff and testing centres to accommodate the increase requirement for testing.”
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “The behaviours we adopt in the next 7 days will form the template for how we interrupt the spread of this virus over the coming months. We need to sustain social distancing, respiratory hygiene and these new ways of behaving if we are to succeed in minimising the threat posed by Covid-19.
Research published today by Amárach has shown that 84% of the population know the symptoms of Covid-19, more than three quarters (78%) are staying at home more often and 45% of all employees have started working from home.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “These findings are very positive and demonstrate the efforts that so many people across society are making to protect our communities. The challenge now is build on and sustain this momentum over the coming weeks.”
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