Research predicts 400 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland by August

According to US researchers, Ireland has passed its projected peak in deaths per day.

The model from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington projected that Ireland would reach its peak in daily deaths yesterday.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that 16 more people had died from the virus bring the number of Covid-19 related deaths to 174.

According to the latest data from the IHME, Ireland can expect a total of 401 Covid related deaths by August 4.

It projects that the number of deaths per day will plateau around the beginning of May.

The model and data works on the assumption that full social distancing will remain in effect through May 2020.

It comes as Health Minister Simon Harris said that restrictions on movement are highly unlikely to be lifted on Easter Sunday.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) have yet to make a formal recommendation to extend the measures.

It is meeting today to discuss restrictions but will not make a final call until Friday.

Minister Harris says the measures are working and need to stay in place.

"We'll get the formal advice later in the week but I believe in being truthful and honest with people in this regard.

"I think that any kind of sudden departure from the existing restrictions is highly unlikely, particularly when we know they're working.

We are not going to do anything as a government that will in any way jeopardise the lives and wellbeing of Irish people. We have got to stay the course.

Earlier, Minister Harris said the rate of growth is slowing but is still too high.

"There are some encouraging signs there in terms of the rate of growth but too early to say.

"We are entering a very, very crucial week.

"The virus is very much here, it is still at an unsustainable level. While we are making progress, we are not yet where we need to be.

He said that there are still a number of worrying signs including the 99 clusters reported in nursing homes across the country and the number of ICU beds.

"This is all about saving lives. As tough and challenging as these measures are we are going to stay the course until we get to a point where we can say it is safe for our people to return to a degree of normality."

The State's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan advised that restrictions on travel and work will only be lifted when the country has a grip on the outbreak.

He said that there are factors to be considered before relaxing any measures including that "we know we have the capacity in our testing, the capacity in terms of the kit that has to be available, to really be strong and focused on finding cases.

"Our work over the course of the next one to two weeks will be to try and get us into that position."

The World Health Organisation has warned countries not to completely lift restrictions in one go.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024