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One death and 500 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Ireland yesterday; Highest incidence rate is in Offaly

DUBLIN: The Department of Health has confirmed one additional death and 520 new cases of COVID-19 in Ireland yesterday.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ireland is now 231,119. The death toll from COVID-19 is 4,588.

Of the cases confirmed yesterday,

● 381 are men and 378 are women

● 79% are under 45 years of age

● The median age is 28

● 242 of the new cases are in Dublin, 36 in Meath, 30 in Offaly, 29 in Kildare, and 25 in Wicklow, with the remaining 158 cases spread across 20 other counties.

As of yesterday morning, 359 COVID-19 patients were hospitalised, with 81 in ICU.

The 14-day incidence rate in Ireland is 157.1 per 100,000 of the population. With 411 cases per 100,000 population, Offaly has the highest incidence rate (424.6), followed by Longford at 269.1 and Kildare at 256.2. Leitrim (34.3), Kilkenny (37.3), Cork (48.8), and Kerry (50.1) have the lowest incidence rates.

Meanwhile, 87 new cases were reported yesterday in Northern Ireland, with one death.

Dr. Una Fallon, the HSE’s Director of Public Health for the Midlands, stated that the high number of COVID-19 cases in Co Offaly is due to an increase in case numbers in creches, funerals, factories, and other workplaces. People congregate in these settings, and this can cause a cluster or an outbreak, she added.

Dr. Fallon said young people with minor symptoms should contact their GP and have a COVID test. She said remain at home with their families until they are tested negative for COVID-19.

During the NPHET briefing yesterday, Deputy CMO Dr. Ronan Glynn said that 80% of people will receive their first vaccine dose by June. He also added that those over the age of 70 and those with underlying conditions would be fully protected by then.

As of 18 March, 668,529 doses of the vaccine were administered in Ireland. Of these, 487,466 people received their first dose and 181,063 received their second dose.

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of NPHET’s Epidemiological Modelling Group, stated that close contact transmission accounts for 60% of cases, with 24% of this occurs in the community. “59% of transmissions are occurring in households. Outside of the household, almost half of transmissions are occurring in social gatherings and the workplace,” he added.

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