At the Department of Health’s latest press conference on the coronavirus.
A female journalist asked about the Irish Association of Funeral Directors announcing this morning that funeral services for people who die due to the coronavirus should be postponed and that the deceased should be immediately cremated or buried…
Dr John Cuddihy, director of the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre, answered the question by saying guidelines will be on the HSE website tomorrow.
However the department’s chief medical officer Tony Holohon, who was sitting beside Dr Cuddihy, was caught on his microphone telling Dr Cuddihy to tell the journalist that he didn’t agree with the IAFD’s recommendation.
This was the exchange:
Journalist: “I’m conscious that this is an uncomfortable question to ask but I think it’s an important one. The Irish Association of Funeral Directors advised its members that victims of the coronavirus, should we be unfortunate enough to have one, should be immediately cremated and funerals held at a later date, is that really a necessary measure?”
Tony Holohon: “John.”
Dr John Cuddihy: “Just to say that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre have general guidance for these measures and we’re updating them currently for the Covid-19 and we will have those on our website tomorrow. We’ve also made contact with the Irish Funeral Directors’ Association [sic] to let them know that they will be available.
“So we will liaise with them and make sure that the guidance are proportionate.”
Holohan [whispers]: “Tell them you don’t agree.”
Cuddihy: “Well, I would think that the measures that you’ve described are not necessary…”
Holohan: “Not necessary.”
Cuddihy: “…and when we produce the guidelines tomorrow, that that will be evident.”
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 10, 2020
The Department of Health has announced that ten new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed bringing the total in the Republic of Ireland to 34.
Five of these new cases are associated with travel from an affected area. Three of those are males in the south of the country.
One male and one female in the east of the country also associated with travel from an affected area.
Three of those 10 new cases are associated with close contact with a confirmed case – a male and female in the west and a female in the south of the country.
Two of the new cases are healthcare workers – one male in the south associated with hospital transmission and one female in the east, possibly due to hospital transmission.
With 16 cases also in Northern Ireland, there are now 50 cases on the island of Ireland.