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Covid-19: 17 deaths and 331 new cases of coronavirus in Ireland

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(Ben Birchall/PA)

(Ben Birchall/PA)

(Ben Birchall/PA)

Another 17 patients have died because of Covid-19, according to the latest figures.

It comes as the Department of Health confirmed there have been another 331 cases, bringing the total nationwide to 4,604.

There have been 137 deaths linked to Covid-19 since the crisis started.

Of the 17 most recent deaths, 15 were in the east. There was one death in the south of the country and another in the west.

The median age of deaths reported today was 77, with chief medical officer Tony Holohan saying long-term residential facilities will be a “priority for our focused attention”.

The figures published this evening include cases reported up to 1pm today. Officials are now working to understand how the confirmed cases contracted the virus.

Community transmission has accounted for 60pc of cases confirmed in recent days, meaning the number of people who contracted the virus from an unknown source is now the most common form of transmission.

There are now more than 206 clusters of the disease, These include areas where more than three or more people in a close setting, such as a home or nursing home, have tested positive.

More than 1,000 of all cases are linked to healthcare workers. There are 1,118 people being treated in hospital for the disease. Of these, 158 have been admitted to ICU.

Mr Holohan said he is satisfied with efforts made to address the spread of the disease but warned against complacency.

“This week, the National Public Health Emergency Team made a range of recommendations to support the response in nursing homes and long-term residential facilities to COVID-19. This remains a priority for our focused attention and we will continue to monitor the rate of infection within these environments and support the sector through this outbreak.

“The nationwide, collective effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 has been inspiring. We must keep up this effort, continue to protect the vulnerable in our society and ultimately flatten the curve.”

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