COVID-19 LATEST: A further 12 people die, HSE chief says testing and tracking ‘key’ to unlock restrictions
Twelve more people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 236 more cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
It brings the total number of deaths as a result of the virus to 1,458. There are now 22,996 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in across the country.
The latest casualties were confirmed by the Department of Health after the chief executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE) Paul Reid said the cost of supplying personal protective equipment for the Irish healthcare system would be €1 billion per year.
However, he warned the cost of not investing in testing, tracing and PPE could be much higher.
Speaking at the HSE’s weekly Covid-19 briefing, Mr Reid said testing and tracing is a key part of helping to unlock restrictions in society.
Mr Reid said the trends were all going downwards in terms of the numbers in ICU and the number of confirmed cases in hospitals. However, he said nobody could predict what would happen next.
Mr Reid insisted the HSE was still in a position to have a capacity for 100,000 tests a week beginning on 18 May.
But he said he was beginning a scoping exercise to develop a future model for testing and tracing which he said would complete its recommendations in the autumn.
Testing of all 30,000 staff and 28,000 residents in nursing homes had now been completed and the focus was now moving to disability and mental health facilities.