The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed of 102 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland – with another confirmed case in Kerry – bringing a total of 8 in the county.

There are now 785 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.

Today’s data from HPSC, as of midnight, Thursday (March 19) (584 cases), reveals;

· Of the 584 cases notified, 55% are male and 44% are female, with 29 clusters involving 157 cases.

· The median age of confirmed cases is 44 years

· 30% of cases have been hospitalised

· 13 cases admitted to ICU – representing 2% of all cases hospitalised

· 147 cases – 25% of cases are associated with healthcare workers

· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 55%, followed by Cork 15%

Of those for whom transmission status is known, community transmission accounts for 42%, close contact accounts for 23%, travel abroad accounts for 35%.

The Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020 was signed into law by the President of Ireland yesterday (Friday). This Act empowers the Minister for Health to prohibit and restrict the holding of certain events, and to close certain premises, for example public houses.

“The Department is aware that pubs in some areas of the country are continuing to open, in contravention of existing public health advice,” Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said.
“If any such premises become known to us, the Minister will be advised to use his regulatory powers to enforce the temporary closure of premises in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We are also asking An Garda Siochana to assist in encouraging the public to abide by the public health advice on social distancing by encouraging any groups congregating in public to disperse.”