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Covid concern Coronavirus Ireland: 10 deaths and 646 new Covid-19 cases as expert begs public not to squander 'weeks of sacrifice'

In 10 weeks’ time we will be in a different place, and 10 weeks further down the line we’ll be in a much different place but I worry that we will squander the sacrifice of thousands of people over the last 52 weeks if we rush to do things too quickly in the next 10-20 weeks"

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Professor Philip Nolan

Professor Philip Nolan

Professor Philip Nolan

There have been ten deaths and 646 new Covid-19 cases, the Department of Health confirmed today.

This brings the total number of coronavirus-related fatalities to 4,518* and the total number of confirmed cases so far to 225,820*.

One previously confirmed death and five confirmed cases have since been denotified. This is reflected in the total figures.

Four deaths occurred in March, one in February, one in January and four are under investigation.

The ages of the deceased range from 41 to 83.

As of 8am this morning, 344 people were in hospital with the illness, 87 of whom are in ICU.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 311 are men / 332 are women
  • 74% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 30 years old
  • 243 are in Dublin, 80 in Kildare, 45 in Meath, 35 in Galway, 34 in Offaly and the remaining 209 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

This comes as public health officials are pleading with the public to “pull back” in an effort to keep the virus suppressed as they are beginning to see “early, worrying signs that they have seen before”.

There are signs that people are mixing more than they were a few weeks ago, according to Professor Philip Nolan, modelling expert with Nphet.

He issued a plea to the public to not squander “52 weeks of sacrifice” by letting their guard down too early.

“In 10 weeks’ time we will be in a different place, and 10 weeks further down the line we’ll be in a much different place but I worry that we will squander the sacrifice of thousands of people over the last 52 weeks if we rush to do things too quickly in the next 10-20 weeks,” he said on RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland.

“It’s not that nothing can happen until everyone is vaccinated, that’s not true. There was the step forward yesterday in increasing the visits to long term residential care homes.

"So, I think the way to think about it is, as more people are vaccinated; there is more we can do within the vaccination programme. Some things we are going to have to wait to do until we have population-wide protection”.

Prof Nolan acknowledged that there is slippage in people adhering to public health guidance as “we get tired and lonely” during a prolonged period of restrictions.

At yesterday's Nphet briefing, Prof Nolan said "we are sailing very close to the winds" as up until now "we have had a steady increase at around 2pc today" however, in the last couple of days that has stabilised and there haven't been reductions.

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