Ten other Covid-19 patients died on Thursday, which is by far the highest daily toll of the epidemic.
There were also a record number of new cases confirmed daily, at 255, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). There are now a total of 1,819 cases of coronavirus in the Republic and 19 deaths.
The extent to which the virus circulates in the health system has been revealed by new figures showing nine clusters of infection occurring in vulnerable patients in nursing homes, eight in hospitals and two in long-term residences .
NPHET officials said the health service lacked certain protective equipment, especially glasses.
“Based on the information we have, we believe we have enough to connect to the delivery from China next week,” said HSE chief medical director Dr. Colm Henry on Thursday evening.
The new deaths occurred in three women and seven men. Nine came from the east of the country and one from the south. The chief medical officer, Dr. Tony Holohan, said that most of them died in institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes.
The average age of those who died is 79, according to an age breakdown provided by NPHET for the first time. Some 68% were men and 32% were women.
The news came as legislation giving the government a new set of emergency powers passed all stages of the Dáil after a long late-night debate.
The Public Interest Emergency Measures Bill (Covid-19) provides for a rental freeze for tenants, as well as a freeze on evictions and a pause in any notice of resignation already issued.
The bill includes the temporary income support program of around 3.7 billion euros which spans 12 weeks and will be managed by the tax administration, where the government will contribute to wage costs with a weekly subsidy to pass on to employees. And it improves the social well-being of people temporarily dismissed from € 203 to € 350.
It also provides for a simplified registration process for retired health professionals and will allow the re-registration of former members of the Permanent Defense Forces.
Dr Holohan said that Ireland was “only at the start of the curve” and that the number of deaths was small in relative terms.
The continued increase in the number of patients admitted to the ICU and in community transmission is a constant concern due to the vulnerability of those affected, said Dr. Holohan. However, the number of new cases was not growing as quickly as expected, which gave encouragement.
The NPHET is scheduled to meet again on Friday to discuss further measures that could be taken to curb the spread of the virus.
In Northern Ireland, three other people have died from coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the North to 10 to date. There have been 32 new Covid-19 cases in the North, for a total of 241 confirmed cases.
One in three new people fear for their jobs and two in three worry about the economy as the coronavirus crisis worsens, according to a new study by the Ministry of Health. It also revealed that a third of people are concerned about their personal health and 77% are concerned about the health of their family and friends.
He intervenes when the Institute of Economic and Social Research warned Thursday that the economy would plunge into recession this year following the coronavirus crisis.
The contraction could reach 7.1% in 2020, the economic think-tank said, on the assumption that the closure measures would remain in place for 12 weeks and that the economy would recover thereafter.
In its latest quarterly assessment, the institute said that the Covid-19 pandemic is the most serious threat the economy has faced since the financial crisis over a decade ago. The institute estimates that up to 350,000 people will lose their jobs, one-sixth of the workforce.
Elsewhere, Minister of Health Simon Harris confirmed that student nurses will be paid for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. All student nurses and midwives will be offered a contract as a medical assistant and will be paid accordingly – up to € 28,000 per year.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed Thursday evening that the United States had the highest number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the world, surpassing China and Italy with more than 81,000.