| 6.8°C Dublin

Right vac Covid-19 Ireland: 13 deaths and 604 cases confirmed as HSE chief says nearly 800,000 vaccinated

It comes as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney said the decision by the Beacon Hospital to give vaccines to teachers “was a slap in the face to so many people”

Close

Health Service Executive chief executive Paul Reid

Health Service Executive chief executive Paul Reid

Health Service Executive chief executive Paul Reid

There have been 13 more deaths and 604 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Ireland.

Of the deaths reported today, 12 occurred in March, the Department of Health said.

The median age of those who died was 77 years.

There now has been a total of 4,666 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.

There is now a total of 234,541 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today, 299 are men, 298 are women and 77% are under 45 years of age. The median age is 27 years old.

Of the cases, 224 are in Dublin, 45 in Donegal, 36 in Kildare, 34in Limerick, 26 in Tipperary and the remaining 239 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

As of 8am today, 322 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 66 are in ICU. There have been 18 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

It comes as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney said the decision by the Beacon Hospital to give vaccines to teachers “was a slap in the face to so many people”,

The minister said he expects the board of the private hospital to hold “individuals to account” over the incident and said the decision to suspend vaccine operations at the hospital was a “clear signal” of how the Government feels on the matter.

“This is such a slap in the face to so many people and that’s why people are so angry about this. So many people have loved ones that are vulnerable to the virus and are waiting patiently to be vaccinated,” Minister Coveney said today on RTÉ Radio’s This Week programme.

While Mr Coveney said it would not be a “good precedent for a senior minister to be on the radio calling for people to resign”, he said the board of the Beacon Hospital “have a responsibility now to ensure that individuals are held to account”.

Mr Coveney also said the board have a responsibility to ensure “the credibility of the vaccine programme is upheld.”

“I do expect the board to ensure that accountability is there in decisions that they’re going to make in the coming days.

“What I’m saying is pretty clear on what the board should be doing,” Minister Coveney said.

Close

Simon Coveney (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Simon Coveney (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Simon Coveney (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

The Foreign Affairs Minister said he agreed with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly’s decision to end the rollout programme at the Beacon in light of what occurred and said it is “a fairly clear signal from Government on the decision process here” that has resulted in the Beacon not complying with the protocol that should be in place.

Minister Coveney said Minister Donnelly’s first impression was to “do nothing that slowed down the rollout” but said on the “back of the public anger” on the issue, he made the right call to “ensure the reputation of the vaccination programme”.

Minister Coveney said there “must be consequences” to decisions such as the one the Beacon took in vaccinating people outside the sequencing document.

HSE Chief Paul Reid said the Beacon informed the HSE itself on Thursday that it had vaccinated teachers and creche workers.

Mr Reid said that he communicated to the Beacon that this was “a complete breach” of the sequencing document that the hospital should have been adhering to and labelled the hospital’s actions “a real body blow”.

Close to 800,000 people will have been vaccinated by the end of Sunday, Mr Reid said, 570,000 first doses and 220,000 second doses.

The vaccination programme in April and May will largely be focused on finishing the over-70 age groups, vaccinating the medically vulnerable people most at risk from Covid aged 16-69 and then moving on to the 65-69 year olds.

“As we roll into May and June, we reach out into the wider population for vaccination through our GPs, hospitals and mass vaccination centres,” Mr Reid said.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors


Top Videos





Privacy