Some 37 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in County Kildare today, according to NPHET, out of a national total of 617. A further 10 deaths, seven of which have been attributed to the virus, have also been confirmed. The median age of those who died was 82 and the age range was 62 - 104.
Of today's new cases, 70% are under 45 years of age. There have been 236 cases in Dublin, 84 in Donegal, 37 in Kildare, 34 in Tipperary, 30 in Offaly and the remaining 196 cases are spread across 20 other counties.
As of 8am today, 176 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 48 are in ICU, and 19 additional hospitalisations have occurred in the past 24 hours.
As of April 20, 1,240,965 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland: 878,823 people have received their first dose and 362,142 people have received their second dose.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said; “We are in a strong position in that transmission levels have reduced substantially and the roll-out of vaccination is protecting more and more of those at risk from the severe effects of Covid-19.
“If we can maintain our current position there is hope that we can look forward to a real easing of measures, but it is as important as ever that we don’t put that progress at risk by letting our collective guard down too much, or too early.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group said; “The R number is estimated as being very close to 1.0. We continue to keep close contacts at 2.6 – a phenomenal testament to the public in keeping social transmission low. All indicators of the disease are stable or declining slowly, though we may see an increase in cases over the coming days. Maintaining this over the coming weeks is key to managing community transmission, and a move towards easing of measures.”
Professor Martin Cormican, Clinical Lead for Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, HSE & Professor of Bacteriology at NUI Galway said; “The benefits of vaccination in Nursing Homes and long-term residential care facilities are now very clear with a dramatic drop in the number of residents and staff developing severe disease.
“New visitation guidance agreed by NPHET today represents another step to support residents in long term residential care facilities in maintaining meaningful relationships with their family and friends. From May 4, nursing home residents - in which most residents are fully vaccinated - can expect four visits with two people per week.”