Elderly woman becomes the first person to die from coronavirus in Ireland
- An elderly woman passed away earlier today after suffering from coronavirus
- She was diagnosed when she went to the doctor with respiratory symptoms
- It comes as 34 people are confirmed to have Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland
An elderly woman has become the first person to die of Coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland.
The patient suffered from respiratory symptoms before a doctor decided to test for Covid-19.
She was diagnosed when the test came back positive and died earlier today despite treatment at a hospital in the east of the country.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: ‘I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of this patient.
‘I urge the media and the public to respect their privacy at this difficult time.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe (pictured) earlier urged employers to do all they can if someone is not able to come to work over fears of contracting Covid-19. It came as an elderly woman became the first to die in the Republic of Ireland of the virus
‘We continue our efforts to interrupt the transmission of this virus. It will take all of us, collectively to succeed. Please continue to follow public health advice.’
Meanwhile, the head of the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) tweeted that the Republic was entering ‘a new phase’ of coronavirus.
Paul Reid said: ‘We are entering a new phase in £Covid19. I fully support our hospitals who have to make decisions on restricting visitors based on clinical risk, patient and public safety.
‘Please do as we urge and our ask will increase as we progress.’
Mr Reid did not elaborate further on the tweet. The Republic is currently in the containment phase with 34 cases of Covid-19, bringing the overall total on the island of Ireland to 52.
The head of the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) Paul Reid tweeted that the Republic is entering ‘a new phase’ of coronavirus
Mr Harris (pictured) previously said anyone concerned that they may have coronavirus symptoms should immediately isolate themselves from others and contact their GP by phone
MailOnline has contacting the Department of Health for comment.
The Government has called for employers to ‘play their part’ of the national response to tackling coronavirus by continuing to pay staff who have to self-isolate.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe urged employers to do all they can if someone is not able to come to work over fears of contracting Covid-19.
Mr Donohoe said he recognises the financial burden firms may face as employees who have symptoms need to self-isolate.
It comes as 34 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland.
Speaking from Government Buildings in Dublin, Mr Donohoe said: ‘We are joining with employers and unions today calling on all employers who do have employees who make the decision that they need to go into a period of isolation, to continue to pay them as normal in recognition of the great challenge that we are now facing.
‘We recognise that for some employers, this may well be a challenge.
‘We understand the financial dimensions that are involved in this.’
Last month government ministers on both sides of the Irish border held talks on how to co-ordinate their response to the coronavirus spread. Pictured: Mr Harris holding a coronavirus leaflet at Dublin Airport on February 28
On Monday, the Government unveiled a financial aid package worth up to 2.4 billion euro.
Under the plans private sector workers affected by coronavirus will receive 305 euro per week from their first day of illness.
Mr Donohoe said these plans have been put in place for public health reasons.
‘We recognise that for many workers within our country, taking this decision is one that does have financial consequences and we want to ensure that the measures are in place to minimise financial concerns as employees, and as employers make decisions in relation to their own health,’ Mr Donohoe added.
The first case in Northern Ireland was made public last month. Pictured: A man wearing a facemask in Dublin Airport
‘This is the reason why on Monday, Minister (Heather) Humphreys and I, in conjunction with the Government, made the decision in relation to the availability of illness payments, the qualifying period that is necessary before you can access that payment and we also increased the value of that payment by over 100 euro.’
Minister for Business Heather Humphreys outlined a number of measures which Irish businesses can avail of to help stem the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
She said: ‘We have introduced a number of supports this week including a 200 million euro working capital scheme.
‘That means any business that is impacted by the coronavirus can make an application for assistance.
‘It will help them with the liquidity problems because cash flow and liquidity will be one of the first issues that will face businesses.’
There is a 200 million euro enterprise fund available while enterprise offices are offering vouchers of between 2,500 euro and 10,000 euro.
The first case of coronavirus confirmed in the Irish Republic is a man who contracted the killer virus in northern Italy. Pictured: Health Minister Simon Harris meets staff running a coronavirus public awareness campaign in Dublin Airport
‘The situation is changing from day to day and we will continue to work with stakeholders to respond to ongoing developments,’ Ms Humphreys added.
‘I’m asking businesses to show some flexibility and solidarity with the workers in terms of sick pay.’
Ms Humphreys also urged the public not to panic buy adding that retailers have ensured her there is a sufficient supply chain.
‘I would say to people, do not panic buy as that in itself causes shortages,’ she added.
Mr Donohoe said the escalating challenges around coronavirus will influence the political discussions around forming a government.
‘This will be a very demanding political exercise but we are truly in extraordinary times,’ Mr Donohoe added.
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