15 April 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

As Covid-19 restrictions of movement in Northern Ireland were extended until May 6th, it was revealed that the number of recorded Covid-19 cases in Co. Monaghan has doubled in the past week according to official figures released by the Department of Health. They show that from midnight on April 6th when there were 62 cases, the number has risen to 147 by midnight on Monday April 13th. The first recorded case was on March 20th. One of the reasons the cases have increased nationally is because test results sent to a German laboratory for analysis have now been added to the statistics.


Date Monaghan Overall
01/04 17 3655
02/04 20 4014
03/04 23 4443
04/04 52 4916
05/04 58 5593
06/04 62 5981
07/04 63 6074
08/04 63 7071
09/04 81 7787
10/04 88 8496
11/04 95 9484
12/04 123 10385
13/04 147 11261


The total of deaths in the Republic recorded up to Wednesday was 444. Nursing homes remain the biggest concern for health chiefs with the public health emergency team discussing on Tuesday how to deal with the issue. Although there are no specific figures for Co. Monaghan, it was revealed that nationally, dozens of clusters and over 185 deaths have been recorded in nursing home settings, with efforts underway to tackle the problem.

In a statement the National Public Health Emergency Team described the action they were taking: “Residential care settings: in addition to existing protective measures and financial supports, the HSE will put in place a co-ordinated national process to identify the prevalence of COVID-19 across nursing homes and other residential healthcare settings, as recommended by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan confirmed on Monday night that 167 coronavirus-related deaths so far came from nursing home environments. As of Monday night, 149 clusters of coronavirus were recorded in nursing homes, which is more than one third of the total.

Dr Holohan said: “We remain concerned about the prevalence of COVID-19 in nursing homes and residential care settings.
The National Public Health Emergency Team is monitoring developments in these facilities and continues to advance supports and actions where needed.”

“From the beginning, we have been aware that vulnerable groups, including the elderly, are at greater risk from this virus. These groups will continue to be our priority,” he stated.

Nursing Homes Ireland has welcomed an agreement between the Health Service Executive and unions to redeploy staff to private nursing homes. The organisation’s CEO Tadgh Daly said they are waiting to see the detail of the agreement. He described it as a national response to a national emergency.

Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster has confirmed that Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland will remain in place for a further three weeks, and will be reviewed again at that stage.

Only essential travel will be permitted and people are urged to remain at home to limit the spread of coronavirus as Ministers attempt to replenish supplies of protective equipment for health workers.

Ms Foster went on to thank frontline workers as well as the majority of the public for sticking with advice to stay at home and follow social distancing rules. She claimed that Northern Ireland remains in the middle of the first wave of Covid-19 cases, continuing to try to flatten the peak.

“There’s nothing more important at this time, it really is a matter of life and death,” she said. “We review that every three weeks and we will now review that again based on the data that we have as to what should happen in the future.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Féin addressed concerns around the reporting of Covid-19 deaths, particularly in care homes. “It is a welcome development that the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency will now publish weekly reports on the deaths and suspected deaths relating to Covid-19 in care homes,” she said. “I think these statistics whenever they are available will be sobering and I believe they will reflect a truer picture of the devastation that is caused by Covid-19. It will bring home to us all just how serious this situation is and more importantly why we all must follow that crucial advice, to stay at home and only go out if you absolutely have to,” she added.

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