Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team 20th August

August 21, 2020 0

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that 1 person with COVID-19 has died.
There has now been a total of 1,776 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of midnight Wednesday 19th August, the HPSC has been notified of 136 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

There is now a total of 27,676 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today;

  • 54 are men / 81 are women
  • 78% are under 45 years of age
  • 57 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case
  • 11 cases have been identified as community transmission
  • 51 in Dublin, 24 in Kildare, 12 in Kilkenny, 11 in Tipperary, 7 in Cork, 6 in Limerick, 6 in Wexford, 5 in Meath and the remaining 14 cases are in Carlow, Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, Waterford and Wicklow.

The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said;

The core message from NPHET this week is to limit your social networks. Stick to a limit of 6 people from no more than 3 households indoors, and 15 people outdoors. Risk assess your environment and do not stay if it doesn’t feel safe. Remember that the virus wants large groups to gather together in order to spread. Do not give it the opportunity. We can continue to suppress this disease in Ireland by working together and staying apart.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said;

The R-number is now at or above 1.2. There are two concerns now, the number of new cases per day remains high and the pattern has changed from large outbreaks in specific settings to much smaller outbreaks widely distributed across the country. The measures announced this week, asking us to stay apart, aim to suppress COVID-19 in the community.

Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist and Integrated Care Lead HSE, said;

Playing our part includes presenting for testing when required. This includes one initial test and a follow up test within seven days. By fulfilling this testing cycle you reduce the threat of asymptomatic transmission and help to control the spread of the disease.

Today, the HSE has published results of the Study to Investigate COVID-19 Infection in People Living in Ireland (SCOPI): A national seroprevalence study, June-July 2020. This study, the first of its type in Ireland, measured antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 virus, which are an indication of past infection with COVID-19. The study reports a prevalence of infection of 0.6% in Sligo and 3.1% in Dublin. Based on these results, HPSC estimates a national prevalence rate of 1.7%.

Dr Derval Igoe, Principal Investigator for SCOPI at the HPSC said:

It is not surprising that a relatively low national seroprevalence of 1.7% was observed here. Other countries in Europe, such as Spain and Italy, where there has been a much more intense epidemic, have reported national seroprevalence estimates of 5% and 2.5% respectively. This means that the vast majority of people living in Ireland had not been infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus by the time of the study. As a society, we need to continue with our public health measures, including physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available.

*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 7 confirmed cases. The figure of 27,676 confirmed cases reflects this.

If YOU or SOMEONE YOU KNOW are struggling and need help check out the local help/support available on our dedicated COVID-19 page.