Danny Gys / Reporters

Heat and high ozone concentrations in the air have possibly played a role in the increase in COVID-19 deaths

Since the start of the week there has been a sharp rise in the number of deaths from COVID-19. On Monday 11 people died, there were 13 fatalities on Tuesday and on Wednesday there were 9 deaths from the virus. Three-quarters of those that died from COVID-19 during the first three days of this week were care home residents. At Friday morning’s National Crisis Centre press conference the virologist Steven Van Gucht (photo above) commented that the increase in COVID-19 fatalities coincided with a period of extreme heat and high levels of ozone in the air.

Older people are much more likely to suffer ill-effect or even death from heat and ozone than other groups in society. However, Professor Van Gucht added that it was still too soon to say conclusively whether the weather and the high ozone concentrations had served to push up the death toll.

Looking at the trends, the number of infections continues to rise with an average of 9% more people tested positive for the novel coronavirus during the week between 4 August and 10 August than as the case during the previous week.

Meanwhile, the number of hospital admissions was 35% up during the past week compared to what it was the previous week. 

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