A fourth person has died.

Fourth person diagnosed with COVID-19 passes away

A fourth person diagnosed with COVID-19 has died in Ireland.

The patient is a male, in the east of the country, with an underlying health condition.

Meanwhile, there are now a total of 16 confirmed cases in Westmeath by midnight Friday, the Department of Health has confirmed. 

There remains five or fewer cases confirmed in Roscommon (where the number is five or fewer, the Department of Health is not giving a specific number in order to protect patient confidentiality).

Nationally, the Department of Health has reported 121 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. There are now 906 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

An analysis of the figures as of midnight Friday, March 20 (712 cases), reveals:

· 55% are male and 44% are female, with 35 clusters involving 190 cases

· The median age of confirmed cases is 44 years

· 211 cases (30%) have been hospitalised

· Of those hospitalised, 17 cases have been admitted to ICU

· 159 cases (22%) are associated with healthcare workers

· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 402, (56% of all cases) followed by Cork with 101 cases (14%)

· There is now at least one confirmed case of Covid-19 in every county in Ireland

Of those for whom transmission status is known, community transmission accounts for 44%, close contact accounts for 23% and travel abroad accounts for 33%. 

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

“Cases confirmed today were most likely exposed to Covid-19 prior to the introduction of the public health measures implemented on Friday, March 13

“It is vital that everyone complies with the public health advice on hand and cough hygiene, working from home where possible and practising social distancing of 2 metres.

“Public health doctors carrying out contact tracing are advising that confirmed cases are now reporting fewer contacts, which is an encouraging sign that people are following the public health guidance.

“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of everyone adhering to public health advice. You are actively helping flatten the curve and limit the spread of Covid-19.

“Anyone waiting to be tested should act as though their test is positive and should self-isolate now, while they await testing and results.”