Covid-19: No further deaths but four additional cases confirmed

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
By Greg Murphy

Additional reporting by Press Association

There have been no further Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.

The Department of Health has however confirmed four additional cases.

The total death toll remains at 1,741 while the total number of cases now stands at 25,531.

In Northern Ireland, no further coronavirus deaths have been recorded since Friday.

The death toll in the north stands at 554.

Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said Ireland was at a crossroads in its battle to keep the virus suppressed.

He said he was concerned by the busy scenes in Dublin over the weekend.

“If it does not happen in a repeated basis hopefully we will be OK,” he said.

“If (behaviours) like that continue to happen it is inevitable that we will run into problems in the weeks and months to come.”

Dr Glynn said: “We have come through a very difficult phase for the country, the vast majority of people in the country have followed the public health advice.

“Very punitive measures were put in place for people and it has been difficult for communities and families. What we are asking people to do now, in relative terms, is more straightforward.”

He added: “We want them to protect themselves.”

He said healthcare staff were exhausted and not ready for any new wave of infection and added children needed to go back to school in September.

He said it is the sick and vulnerable who will be most at risk if there is a second wave.

“We are at a crossroads and have choices to make. If we make the right choices we can hope to keep this disease under control. If we make the wrong choices and do not keep following the basics of public health advice we will end up back where we were weeks and months ago and none of us want to be back there.”

Research conducted on behalf of Ireland’s Department of Health shows a higher level of overall worry among the population and a continued increase in the proportion of the population anticipating a second wave.

Almost three quarters (74%) think that there will be a second wave – up 20% in the past month.

41% of the population now believe that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and one in three (32%) believe it is ahead of us.

Between mid-May to the end of June, 35% of those identified as a close contact of a confirmed case did not take up the offer of a test.

Dr Glynn said: “Every case has the potential to turn into a cluster, which in turn has the potential to spread through a community. If you are identified as a close contact, please take up the offer of a test without delay.”