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Latest figures Coronavirus Ireland: 29 deaths and 776 new Covid-19 cases confirmed as 40,000 moved up vaccination list

People aged between 16 and 69 that suffer with a medical condition that puts them at serious risk from the disease have been moved to the fourth cohort to be vaccinated.

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A member of the swab team working at the Covid-19 test centre at DkIT earlier this year. Photo: Aidan Dullaghan/Newspics

A member of the swab team working at the Covid-19 test centre at DkIT earlier this year. Photo: Aidan Dullaghan/Newspics

A member of the swab team working at the Covid-19 test centre at DkIT earlier this year. Photo: Aidan Dullaghan/Newspics

There have been 29 more deaths and 776 more Covid-19 cases, the Department of Health confirmed today.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 218,251* and the total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 4,300.

The youngest person to pass away was just 29 while the oldest was 95.

17 of the deaths occurred in February, and 12 peopled died in January.

Validation of data at the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has resulted in the denotification of three confirmed cases. This is reflected in the total figure.

As of 8am today, 574 patients are in hospital with Covid-19 with 136 in ICU. There were 24 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 394 are men / 379 are women
  • 67% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 34 years old
  • 278 are in Dublin, 69 in Galway, 57 in Meath, 52 in Kildare, 48 in Donegal and the remaining 272 cases are spread across all other counties.

This comes as approximately 40,000 people who are at very high risk of severe illness if they contract Covid-19 are being moved up the vaccination priority list, HSE chief Paul Reid said.

People aged between 16 and 69 that suffer with a medical condition that puts them at serious risk from the disease have been moved to the fourth cohort to be vaccinated.

This means they are next in line after everyone over the age of 70 has been vaccinated.

This cohort contains people undergoing cancer treatments such as chemo and radiotherapy, people with motor neuron disease, down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and diabetes among other illnesses.

The HSE are currently identifying the people who qualify for this group, planning which vaccines may best fit this group and admitted that this was “a complex group” that may require vaccination in various settings, Mr Reid said on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland.

The HSE CEO said there was “very good news” in terms of vaccination efficacy in nursing home residents and staff.

This comes as positive cases in nursing home settings fell 80pc in one week in February following the vaccination roll-out.

He has asked Dr Colm Henry to look at the possibility of relaxing restrictions in nursing homes with regards to visitation in light of this, but this will also be contingent on Nphet’s advice to the HSE, Mr Reid said.

“I would like to see us reducing restrictions in nursing homes and I know Nursing Homes Ireland would like it,” Mr Reid said.

The HSE boss did sound caution, though, saying the virus has shown a “tendency to out-manoeuvre any plan we put in place and we have had significant death and mortality in nursing homes."

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