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Coronavirus: Three further deaths and 606 new cases as one million vaccines per month due from April

There have been three further Coronavirus-related deaths and 606 new cases, according to figures released by the health authorities this evening.

Of the deaths reported today, 2 occurred in March and 1 in February.

Six of the cases announced are in Laois, meaning the county’s 14-day incidence rate has dropped from 119.2 to 116.9.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 298 are men / 305 are women
  • 75% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 33 years old
  • 249 in Dublin, 57 in Donegal, 39 in Kildare, 32 in Meath, 31 in Louth and the remaining 198 cases are spread across all other counties

As of 8am today, 312 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 75 are in ICU. 24 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

As of March 22nd 2021, 690,449 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:

  • 503,796 people have received their first dose
  • 186,653 people have received their second dose

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “The vast majority of people are making a huge sacrifice and missing time with loved ones in order for us to stay on course with the public health guidance.

“However, we know that in the week ending March 14th, approximately one-in-ten people visited another household for social reasons, with most of these visits involving time spent indoors.

“While this clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of people are sticking with the public health guidance, it does represent a significant change versus January when just one in 20 people were visiting other homes for social reasons.

“Please continue to stick with the public heath advice and avoid visiting other homes at this time – do not give this virus the opportunities it is seeking to spread.”

Dr. Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive Officer, Health Products Regulatory Authority said: “People can be assured about the transparency and honesty of the vaccines monitoring and approvals process.

“Where there is any indication of concern in relation to side effects of a vaccine, even in a very small number of cases across the EU, we have seen that appropriate steps will be taken to ensure further investigation if needed.

“There are risks associated with all vaccines but with COVID-19, the benefits of a vaccine far outweighs the risks for a very small number of cases. Rigorous monitoring and safety reporting is ongoing by the HPRA in partnership with our EU partners.

“We have three safe and effective vaccines, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and Moderna and we will shortly add the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to increase the roll out of protection against this highly transmissible disease.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “We are experiencing a levelling off in the daily incidence rate of COVID-19 and the concern is that we could so easily move backwards and undo the progress that has been hard-earned since the beginning of the year.

“The pattern isn’t entirely clear and continues to be volatile, so we’ll be monitoring this quite carefully over the coming weeks.

“It is important to remember that when the infection gets into a household the transmission rates are very high – up to one third of contacts within a household will subsequently become infected. It is critically important during this very volatile stage that we minimise our contacts where possible and follow public health advice.”

Dr. Miriam Owens, Director of Public Health, HSE, said: “Today sees the opening of new walk-in test centres in areas of high transmission to enable increased ease of access to testing facilities for people who don’t have symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, I would encourage you to contact your GP to arrange a test as soon as possible.

“Together we can break the chains of transmission of this infection, by washing our hands, keeping a safe distance and by avoiding all non-essential activity where you are mixing with others.”

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community including daily data on Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

New Cases in Laois

  • March 24 – 6
  • March 23 – 18
  • March 22 – 8
  • March 21 – 8
  • March 20 – 10
  • March 19 – 5
  • March 18 – 16
  • March 17 – 5
  • March 16 – 6
  • March 15 – 4
  • March 14 – 2
  • March 13 – 5
  • March 12 – 3
  • March 11 – 2
  • March 10 – 8

14-day case rate in Laois per 100,000 population

  • March 24 – 116.9
  • March 23 – 119.2
  • March 22 – 99.2
  • March 21 – 90.9
  • March 20 – 85
  • March 19 – 83.8
  • March 18 – 83.8
  • March 17 – 76.7
  • March 16 – 77.9
  • March 15 – 86.2
  • March 14 – 81.5
  • March 13 – 93.3
  • March 12 – 103.9
  • March 11 – 118.1
  • March 10 – 133.4

New cases in Laois during past 14 days

  • March 24 – 99
  • March 23 – 101
  • March 22 – 84
  • March 21 – 77
  • March 20 – 72
  • March 19 – 71
  • March 18 – 71
  • March 17 – 65
  • March 16 – 66
  • March 15 – 73
  • March 14 – 69
  • March 13 – 79
  • March 12 – 88
  • March 11 – 100
  • March 10 – 113

One million vaccines per month in April, May and June 

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly told the Dáil that there would be a “step change” in the vaccine roll-out from April.

He told Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson David Cullinane that Ireland remains on track to have received 1.1 million vaccine doses by the end of this month, which would also mark the end of the first quarter.

The minister cautioned, however, that this was assuming deliveries arrive on time.

Ireland is expecting in excess of one million vaccine doses per month for April, May and June.

SEE ALSO – Laois children forced to travel to Athlone for eye clinic service

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.