By Ellen O’Riordan
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Co Roscommon has risen sharply over the last seven days with a new daily high of 31 reported by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) on Wednesday.
The latest increase in cases (six announced on Saturday) includes data up to midnight on May 7th, showing there are now 234 people in the county that have been diagnosed with coronavirus, a figure that remains sixth-lowest in the country.
But with 60 new cases announced between May 1st and May 7, it has been a week of continual ascent for Roscommon. This jump represents an increase rate of 46 per cent, meaning Covid-19 is spreading faster in Roscommon than any other county in Connacht and second fastest in the Republic, after Co Longford which, with an increase rate of 76 per cent, has seen a shocking rise in its case numbers.
At the end of April, Longford had 10 fewer cases than Roscommon, with 150 confirmed compared to Roscommon’s 160. In the week following, Longford’s cases rose by 76 per cent, overtaking Roscommon to reach 264.
The chart below shows the 10 counties with the highest increase rate of infection in Ireland in the first week of May.
Roscommon’s increase rate in the first week of May seems starker when compared with its neighbour on the other side. Cases in Co Mayo rose by just seven per cent this week, with 35 new cases announced. This is a distinct difference from the first seven days in April when Roscommon’s rate of infection was rising by 120 per cent, just half of the Mayo rate of 250 per cent.
The county still has a slightly higher infection rate (cases per head of population) than Roscommon, with 40 cases per 10,000 compared with Roscommon’s 35 per 10,000. Nevertheless, daily updates from the HPSC show that Roscommon is catching up.