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Coronavirus Ireland: Department of Health confirms second COVID-19 death was a male in the east of the country

Health officials have confirmed that the second person to die from coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland was a male in the east of the country.

Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health Dr Tony Holohan added that the tragic victim was carrying an underlying medical condition.

The announcement was made at a media briefing in Dublin this evening.

It was also confirmed that 39 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Ireland, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 129.

Of the new cases, 29 are males while 10 are female.

A total of 21 of the patients are in the east of the country, 13 are in the south, three are in the north-west and two are in the west.

Some of these new cases are understood to be healthcare staff.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “Firstly, I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of the patient who died today.

“It is up to every one of us to play our role in slowing down the spread of this disease.

“Ireland is following ECDC guidelines in our approach to containing COVID19.

“Today’s increase in cases reinforces the necessity of the measures put in place last week, including hand and respiratory hygiene, social distancing, school closures and limiting the size of mass gatherings.

“I urge every citizen to follow these measures to protect our people, especially the most vulnerable in our society.

“I note also the pressure our emergency services phonelines were under today.

“112/999 should only be used for emergencies, when an ambulance is required. This is not an advice line.

“If you have flu like symptoms, self isolate at home until Monday and visit hse.ie for advice. You can call your GP on Monday morning and they will decide if you need a test. Please only call 999 or GP out of hours for emergencies.

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health added: “There are many anecdotal stories of people ignoring the social distancing guidelines laid out on Thursday.

“We are in an unprecedented global situation. Everyone in the country must play their part in protecting the most vulnerable and slowing down the spread of this disease.”

It comes after a members of the public who have normal cold or flu like symptoms are now being asked to self-isolate and ring their GPs by the HSE.

Anyone who is believed to have been in contact with someone with the virus are also being asked to contact their GP and get a test if necessary.

To this point General Practitioners have had access to testing through the National Ambulance Service but with increased demand for resting they are hoping to have new electronic processes in place from Monday.

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The HSE are currently working to ensure there are enough testing facilities in place by Monday – they stress that the HSELive helpline is not in a position to order tests for them.

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE said: ” While we appreciate people’s concern about COVID-19, we would ask for their patience as we respond to the increasing requirement for testing.

“To limit the spread of COVID – 19 people should; practice social distancing and avoid crowded places, wash their hands properly and often, cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, clean and disinfect frequently touched surface, stay at home if they are sick to avoid spread of whatever infection they have.

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Coronavirus health advice

“I completely understand people feeling concern and anxiety. We will all work together as a health service to provide the information you need, and to provide the testing and health care needed for those who do develop illness due to COVID-19.

“The public should go to the HSE website in the first instance if they are concerned about COVID-19.”

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