12 further deaths, 76 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Ireland
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12 further deaths, 76 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Ireland

A FURTHER 12 people have died after contracting Covid-19 in Ireland.

The Department of Health confirmed at a press briefing yesterday that, as of 5.30pm on Thursday, 21 May, 12 more people had lost their lives to the virus, bringing Ireland's total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 1,583.

76 additional cases have also been confirmed across the country, meaning there have now been 24,391 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland.

The HSE is working rapidly to identify any close contacts of the newly confirmed 76 cases, in order to advise them and further slow the spread of the virus.

The numbers of newly confirmed cases have been dropping consistently for the past week, a trend which Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health, welcomed.

He said:

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"We have experienced 6 consecutive days of under 100 new confirmed cases in Ireland. This is very positive and demonstrates the extent to which the public’s actions have limited the spread of this disease.

"However, it is only through continued commitment to hand washing, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing that we will remain successful in suppressing the spread of COVID-19 through the community."

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said:

"Most indicators continue to improve, with ICU and hospital admissions, number of cases per day and number of deaths per day continuing to decline. Prevalence of the virus remains low in the community. The reproduction number is well below one, so our task remains to maintain low transmission of the virus."

Ireland entered its first phase of easing lockdown restrictions on 18 May, and is due to enter the second phase on 8 June if the downward trend continues.