COVID-19 LATEST: 13 more deaths, 402 new cases, but Ireland’s top doctor says ‘the curve is flattening’
Thirteen more people have lost their lives after contracting the coronavirus as 402 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
It brings the overall Covid-19 death toll in the country to 98, with a total of 3,849 new cases now confirmed ahead of the expected surge in the weeks ahead.
In its daily Covid-19 briefing, the Department of Health confirmed nine of the latest deaths were in the east of the country, one in the south and three in the west.
The patients included four females and nine males. Ten of the patients were reported as having underlying health conditions.
The average age of patients who have died as a result of Covid-19 in Ireland so far is 82, while the median age of confirmed cases is 48 years.
The Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, Dr Tony Holohan, said we are seeing an improvement in terms of the growth rate of overall cases, and so the curve is flattening. But he warned the curve needs to flatten further, and with the tougher measures brought in last week, it hopefully will when the results of that are seen.
Earlier today, Tánaiste Simon Coveney warned the highly restrictive measures put in place last week to slow the spread of Covid-19 may well be extended beyond the initial deadline of April 12.
“I think people do need to realise that these restrictions may go on for some time,” Mr Coveney told a briefing this morning.
“We’ve set an initial period but I think it may well be that we will need to go beyond that initial deadline, but again that will be a decision take with the best public health advice.”
The growing economic cost of the coronavirus crisis was laid bare today, with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe estimating that fiscal supports and deferred tax revenue is likely to surpass €16 billion.
At a press conference to announce the latest Exchequer figures today, Mr Donohoe indicated that the potential loss of taxation this year could be higher than €8 billion. This is on top of an estimated €8 billion cost of the measures already put in place by Government to tackle the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, in some positive news a Qatar Airways cargo flight bringing much-needed medical supplies from China landed at Shannon Airport this afternoon.
The cargo aircraft is carrying ventilators as well as emergency beds to be distributed to hospitals across the country and to boost medical equipment during the Covid-19 crisis.