20 new cases of Covid-19: 'We are not locking down the country'

20 new cases of Covid-19: 'We are not locking down the country'

By Michelle McGlynn

Dr Tony Holohan during the Departments update on COVID-19 tonight in Miesian Plaza, Dublin. Picture: Leah Farrell/

It has been confirmed that there are 20 new cases of coronavirus in the Republic bringing the total number of infections to 90.


Of these cases:

  • 6 cases are associated with travel

  • 12 are associated with contacts of confirmed case; 4 of which are healthcare workers

  • 2 cases are associated with community transmission

    The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had, to provide them information and to prevent further spread.

    The two new community transmission cases today bring the total number of cases that the HSE has been unable to identify links for to seven.

    There have been six people admitted to ICU with Covid-19.

    To date, there has been one confirmed death of Covid-19 in Ireland.


    Meanwhile, Northern Ireland has recorded its biggest increase so far in Covid-19 cases.

    Another nine positive cases were detected today, bringing the tally in the North to 29.

    At this evening's media briefing on Covid-19, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan responded to rumours that the country would be under a "Status Red lockdown" in the coming days

    “The last two days have seen the biggest increase in people diagnosed with Covid-19 in this country so rumours have been circulating that we are coming into a status red or lockdown situation.”

    “I have heard those rumours from my own family and on the street and they are not true.

    We are not locking down the country. We have no plans to lock down the country.

    Following a meeting last night, the National Public Health Emergency Team has made the decision to update the case definition.

    Symptoms of new onset fever of 38 degrees or more, or chills and/or symptoms of respiratory tract infections including cough will be considered when assessing the requirement for testing.

    Other decisions made at the meeting are:

  • All people returning from areas that have been identified on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website for avoidance of non-essential travel should restrict their movements for two weeks.

  • Discharge criteria for self-isolating confirmed cases, as recommended by the Expert Advisory Group, has been approved for implementation.

  • EAG will consider travel restrictions for healthcare workers

    Speaking on the issue of childcare and play dates following the decision yesterday to close all schools until March 29, Dr Ronan Glynn, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said they appreciate that the measures are having "a significant impact on the daily lives of families".

    But he said that the measures are for necessary for the public good.

    Parents should try and avoid arranging play dates for groups of young children at this early stage of the outbreak.

    “However, rather than staying indoors, consider outdoor activities such as playing football in the open in small groups of 3 or 4 while maintaining social distancing of 2 metres.

    “This is a time to be mindful of the public health guidelines and apply these measures to your daily lives.”

    Dr Glynn added: “Children still need to have a normal life and we recognise that children will still play together.

    "What we are asking is that parents use their discretion and follow the guidelines.”

    [ul][b]Useful information[/b]
    [li]The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it [url=]here[/url] [/li]
    [li]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 - if this is not possible, phone 112 or 999 and in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999[/li]
    [li]ALONE has [burl=987612]launched a national support line[/burl] 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 Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024[/li]

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