Covid: HSE made aware of four preliminary reports of stillbirths potentially associated with Covid Placentitis

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 39 additional deaths related to Covid-19.

Ten of these deaths occurred in March, 12 occurred in February, 13 in January and three occurred earlier than this. One further death is under investigation.

The median age of those who died was 81 years and the age range was 0 - 97 years.

There has been a total of 4,396 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight on Wednesday the HPSC was notified of 462 new confirmed cases to bring the total to 221,649.

They include 14 in Mayo, now with 262 over the past two weeks.

It gives the county a 14-day incidence rate of 200,8 - above the national average of 190.2.

The county's five-day moving average now stands at 13.

Of the other cases notified today:

224 are men and 236 are women.

69% are under 45 years of age.

the median age is 31 years old.

207 in Dublin, 29 in Cork, 26 in Meath, 20 in Kildare, 18 in Galway and the remaining 162 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 8 a.m today, 460 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, 107 in ICU. There have been 26 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Numbers of people vaccinated

As of last Monday there have been 446,474 doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered in Ireland:

303,550 people have received their first dose

142,924 people have received their second dose

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: "We have been made aware of four preliminary reports of stillbirths potentially associated with a condition called Covid Placentitis.

"These reports should be interpreted with caution as the coroners have not yet concluded their findings.

"The HSE's National Women and Infants Programme is aware of and is monitoring the situation and has issued a related notice to obstetric departments.

"I would ask that the privacy of all of those affected by this disease continue to be respected at all times."

Dr Breda Smyth, Director of Public Health, HSE West said: "We have confirmed that more than 200 households have had an outbreak of Covid-19 that are linked back to the outbreak among students.

"We know that the new variant is more transmissible, and, based on the latest data, approximately a third of household contacts of confirmed cases in Ireland are now testing positive.

"If you display any symptoms of Covid-19, you must immediately self-isolate in your room and phone your GP.

"We know how to break the chains of transmission of this disease. We must all continue to make every effort to limit our social contacts, stay home and stay safe."

Dr Máirín Ryan, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health Technology Assessment, HIQA, said: "HIQA has today published its advice to NPHET on reducing the minimum age of mask wearing in children.

"As we know, the evidence points towards face mask use in the community reducing transmission of Covid-19.

"However, in young children, the benefit of face masks is likely small and may be affected by their reduced ability to comply with face mask wearing.

"The expert advisory group has not advised any change to the guidance on mask wearing in children.

"The best way to ensure that schools remain a low-risk environment is by the continued use of a combination of public health measures, such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, increased ventilation and by not attending when you have symptoms of Covid-19."

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: "The R number has at least remained stable and may even have decreased slightly, this is reflected in the week-on-week decline in cases that has been reported recently.

"This represents an extraordinary effort over a very challenging nine week period that has brought us from 6,500 daily cases to under 600."

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