Covid-19: three additional deaths, 1,167 new cases

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There has been a further three Covid-19 related deaths and 1,167 additional cases in the Republic of Ireland today.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 538 were men and 627 were women
  • 64 per cent were under 45 years of age
  • The median age was 33 years old

There were 263 cases recorded in Dublin, 142 in Meath, 137 in Cork and 86 in Cavan.

The remaining 539 cases are spread across all remaining counties.

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Ireland is set to enter Level 5 restrictions for a period of six weeks from tomorrow.

The move comes as criticism mounts over the overwhelmed contact tracing system in the country.

It emerged last night that thousands of close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases will not be contacted by the HSE after the contact tracing system was overwhelmed by cases last weekend.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he had no prior knowledge of the situation and first learned of it from media reports rather than from the HSE.

“I got a text last evening which included the Irish Times article, that’s when I first knew. So I wasn’t informed of this operational measure that the HSE undertook in response to the extraordinary demands that they were under at the weekend in the context of the community tracing," he said.

Mr Martin said the tracing system had been reconfigured to allow contact tracing to take place within 24 hours for 1,500 daily positive cases. He added that an additional 220 people would be hired by contact tracing teams by the end of next week.

However, Labour leader Alan Kelly criticised the delay in recruitment prior to the issue arose: “There’s hundreds of thousands of competent people out there – retired public servants, people who’ve worked in various different organisations and jobs that could have been recruited.”

“It is not conceivable or understandable to the public out there why they were not resourced up until now.”

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