By Michelle Crean

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that an additional 10 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland have died – with 255 new confirmed cases in Ireland.

The patients who died include three female and seven males. Nine patients in the east of the country and one in the south. There have now been 19 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

The median age of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who have died is 79 years, 68% are male and 32% are female.

There’s also been an increase in confirmed Kerry cases up from 33 yesterday (Wednesday) to 38 tonight (Thursday), based on figures from Tuesday (March 24).

There are now 1,819 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.
Today’s data from HPSC, as of midnight, Tuesday, March 24 (1,383 cases), reveals:

• 55% are male and 45% are female, with 66 clusters involving 295 cases
• The median age of confirmed cases is 46 years
• 340 cases (25%) have been hospitalised
• Of those hospitalised, 47 cases have been admitted to ICU
• 321 cases (23%) are associated with healthcare workers
• Dublin has the highest number of cases at 774, (56% of all cases) followed by Cork with 154 cases (11%)
• Of those for whom transmission status is known; community transmission accounts for 51%, close contact accounts for 22%, travel abroad accounts for 27%

Research conducted on behalf of the Department of Health shows that while 35% of people are worried about their personal health, 77% of people are worried about the health of their family and friends.
The nationally representative online survey of 1,270 adults conducted today, which is conducted twice weekly, reveals:

• 66% of people say they are coughing into their elbow
• 81% say they are physical distancing when they are in a queue
• 65% of people are worried about the economy
• 32% of people are worried about their employment status

“We are only at the beginning of the curve. We need every citizen to heed the advice and measures put in place to protect all of us,” Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “We are aware COVID-19 is impacting and reshaping daily life for everyone. We can see from the data that people are most concerned about their family and friends. If you look after yourself, restrict movement and follow advice, you will ultimately protect them.”

Dr Breda Smyth, HSE Director of Public Health, said; “Protection from COVID-19 is literally in our hands. It is important that we continue to wash our hands and practice cough and sneeze hygiene constantly.”

Dr Colm Henry, HSE Chief Clinical Officer, said; “While the HSE is engaged in extensive preparations for COVID-19, the more we as individuals take personal responsibility to interrupt the spread of the virus, the greater impact we can have on protecting our vulnerable people and saving lives.”