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Another 31 die with Covid-19 in Ireland

The number waiting for testing was once close to 35,000 but is expected to be eliminated entirely by the end of this week.

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Ireland’s coronavirus testing backlog has fallen to 11,000, health service chiefs said (Leon Farrell/PA)

Ireland’s coronavirus testing backlog has fallen to 11,000, health service chiefs said (Leon Farrell/PA)

Ireland’s coronavirus testing backlog has fallen to 11,000, health service chiefs said (Leon Farrell/PA)

Another 31 people with Covid-19 in Ireland have died as the total diagnosed hit five figures, the health authorities said.

The number of confirmed cases exceeded 10,000.

There have been 365 deaths, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team.

A total of 26 were located in the east, three in the north west, one in the south and one in the west of the country.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “Today marks a milestone in Ireland’s experience of Covid-19 as we see the number of confirmed cases exceed 10,000.

“The number of community cases of Covid-19 shows why we continue to need the public health measures that we currently have in place.

“I understand that the current restrictions are tough, especially during a bank holiday weekend when in normal circumstances most of us would have met up with family and friends but I ask that the public continue to work with us and follow the guidelines that are in place.

“The next three weeks will prove crucial to Ireland’s Covid-19 story and by working together we give ourselves the best chance to slow the spread and save lives.”

The deaths included 18 females and 13 males.

The median age of Monday’s reported fatalities was 82.

A total of 25 were reported as having underlying health conditions.

In all, 992 new cases were detected, bringing the total to 10,647.

Ireland’s coronavirus testing backlog has fallen to 11,000, health service chiefs said.

The number waiting was once close to 35,000 but is expected to be eliminated entirely by the end of this week, Health Service Executive (HSE) chief executive Paul Reid said.

He attributed progress to increased testing in the Republic’s laboratories and others being carried out at a German facility.

Mr Reid said: “That backlog will continue to be reduced and will be reduced completely during the course of this week.”

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Ireland wanted to get to 4,500 tests per day but that number has already been massively outstripped (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ireland wanted to get to 4,500 tests per day but that number has already been massively outstripped (Brian Lawless/PA)

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Ireland wanted to get to 4,500 tests per day but that number has already been massively outstripped (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ireland wanted to get to 4,500 tests completed per day but that number has already been massively outstripped.

Mr Reid added: “We did peak to almost 8,000 (7,900) tests completed last Saturday.”

A total of 25 testing laboratories are being used by the HSE.

Ireland has had a “significant delivery” of reagents used in the process from China.

It is undergoing quality assurance testing.

Mr Reid also said there was a “significant issue” with the availability of gowns to protect health workers.

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A second batch of personal protective equipment worth 67 million euros will begin arriving later this month (Danny Lawson/PA)

A second batch of personal protective equipment worth 67 million euros will begin arriving later this month (Danny Lawson/PA)

PA

A second batch of personal protective equipment worth 67 million euros will begin arriving later this month (Danny Lawson/PA)

A second batch of personal protective equipment worth 67 million euros will begin arriving from China later this month.

Ireland has driven down the rate of infections through early moves towards social distancing and increased testing and tracking of the disease.

The Republic has doubled the number of tests being completed in a short time.

Mr Reid said 800 people have appointments to be swabbed or will be given appointments over coming days.

He said: “It give us a total of 25 laboratories now to support us in scaling up.”

He said Ireland was also building up its capacity to contact-trace.

On Sunday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Ireland will face some of its darkest days in the weeks ahead, as it battles to contain the spread of the virus.

His Fine Gael party has made progress on a draft agreement with political rivals Fianna Fail towards forming a new Government to tackle the pandemic.

Party leaders are expected to consider the proposed agreement this week but need the support of one of the smaller parties following last winter’s inconclusive general election.

Popular sunspots were closed over the Easter weekend including in south Dublin in a bid to limit the virus’ spread.

Irish police stepped up patrols aimed at deterring people from gathering.

More than a third of outbreaks happened in nursing homes, most in the east of the country official data showed.

PA