The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that a further 49 people diagnosed with Covid-19 in Ireland have died, bringing the number of deaths in the country to 769.
One new case has been diagnosed in Clare. The total number of positive cases for the virus in the county now stands at 165.
There were a total of 631 new confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 16,671 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.
The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
Today’s data from the HPSC, as of midnight, Monday 20th April (15,871 cases), reveals:
* 56% are female and 44% are male
* the median age of confirmed cases is 48 years
* 2,387 cases (15%) have been hospitalised
* Of those hospitalised, 322 cases have been admitted to ICU
* 4,393 cases are associated with healthcare workers
* Dublin has the highest number of cases at 7,905 (50% of all cases) followed by Cork with 1,077 cases (7%)
* Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 61%, close contact accounts for 35%, travel abroad accounts for 4%
As of midnight Tuesday, the HPSC has been informed of 302 clusters in residential care settings, 179 of which are in nursing homes. Of the 769 deaths in laboratory confirmed cases, 412 are associated with residents of residential care settings, of which 348 are associated with nursing home settings.
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “Testing is a key element to Ireland’s response to Covid-19. NPHET has consistently highlighted the importance of testing so that we can track the spread of the disease, reduce and contain its spread.
“As part of understanding the testing landscape, NPEHT requested that HIQA undertake a Health Technology Assessment of alternative diagnostic testing methods for detecting Covid-19.”
Dr Máirín Ryan, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health Technology Assessment, HIQA, said; “We have identified a range of diagnostic tests, both in development and already commercialised, that will need to be reviewed as part of a comprehensive quality assurance programme before being adopted as part of a national testing programme.
“The assessment has confirmed that Ireland’s current test, the real-time RT-PCR, remains the ‘gold standard’ test for detecting and confirming Covid-19 cases.
“HIQA continues to monitor and assess evidence on alternative diagnostic testing methods for Covid-19 and will report to NPHET on an ongoing basis.”