Almost 90% of coronavirus-related deaths in Ireland among those aged 65 or above

Almost 90% of those dying with coronavirus are aged 65 and above, official data in Ireland shows.

Two deaths have been recorded amongst patients aged between 25 and 34.

Out of 3,282 laboratory confirmed cases, 91 have died, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre said.

A total of 160 clusters of infection have been identified. Dublin has recorded more than half the total of cases.

Community transmission was responsible for a quarter of instances.

Meanwhile, a surge in cases of Covid-19 is expected to happen “quickly and strongly” over the next two weeks, an emergency medicine doctor said.

Dr Emily O’Connor, president of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, said evidence in the UK suggested many people “will get seriously ill, quickly, and at the same time” and that may be when hospitals struggle.

She told RTE’s Morning Ireland that 5% were expected to need critical support.

The fear is that if too many patients need critical care at the same time hospitals may run out of space and staff to treat them.

By the end of March the numbers on the register of the unemployed had risen to more than 500,000, with further job losses possible, Ireland’s Central Bank said.

It said on the basis of the initial impacts that have been observed and also, primarily, the assumption that containment measures and restrictions remain in place for a three-month period before being rolled back, GDP could decline by 8.3% this year.

The unemployment rate could rise to around 25% in the second quarter.

The Central Bank has warned that the crisis is likely to make a 22 billion euro hole in the country’s finances.

The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet on Friday to review the latest information about the spread of the virus.

Paul Reid, chief executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE), confirmed an order for personal protective equipment worth more than 200 million euro had been placed and that deliveries from China had started in recent days.

Concerns have been expressed about the first batch which has been arriving on Aer Lingus flights since Sunday.

Mr Reid said: “We are, however, engaged worldwide to secure alternative stocks should these supplies not materialise to the extent that we expect.

“It is a very competitive worldwide market but our procurement teams have done really well to secure what we have to date.”

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