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Coronavirus death toll in Republic of Ireland hits 687 after 77 more people pass away

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Figures: Dr Tony Holohan

Figures: Dr Tony Holohan

Figures: Dr Tony Holohan

The Republic yesterday reported its highest daily toll of deaths notified during the coronavirus outbreak, with 77 fatalities confirmed.

The total number of people with Covid-19 who have died in the country now stands at 687.

Health officials stressed that most of the deaths announced yesterday evening did not occur in the previous 24 hours - with the figure instead representing the number of deaths officially notified to the Department of Health since Sunday.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said there was a time lag in recording deaths and highlighted that the daily percentage increase in the overall death total is actually on the decrease in Ireland.

Of the 77 deaths reported, the first occurred on April 2, Dr Holohan said. A further 401 cases of Covid-19 have also been confirmed, bringing the total in the Republic of Ireland to 15,652.

Figures were also published yesterday highlighting the stark economic impact of the crisis, with more than one million people now either fully or partially dependent on the State for income support.

The current period of lockdown measures, which has forced the closure of many businesses and prevents people leaving their homes in all but limited circumstances, is due to expire on May 5.

Earlier, the Taoiseach expressed concern that complacency around the Covid-19 restrictions was setting in. Leo Varadkar also said he would not speculate about when the country would reopen.

"Certainly anecdotally and speaking to people, there does seem to have been an increase in traffic and an increase in people out and about," he said.

"It is okay for people to be out and about so long as they observe social distancing.

"It is okay for people to travel provided those journeys are necessary."

He said there was concern that there had been "a little bit of complacency setting in".

Belfast Telegraph