here have been 60 further deaths of people who contracted Covid-19 and 3,231 new cases of the virus confirmed by the Department of Health this evening.
This takes the number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 to 2,595, while the official case count has risen to 169,780.
Earlier today, HSE CEO Paul Reid confirmed that hospitals have gone into surge capacity as ICU numbers continue to rise.
There are now 191 Covid-19 patients in ICU as of this afternoon and Mr Reid confirmed that the agreement signed with private hospitals has been initiated to cater for spillover from the public health service.
The HSE boss said there are also 250 Covid-19 patients outside of ICU that are requiring significant assistance such as additional oxygen.
1,854 people are in hospital with the virus today, while Mr Reid said 125 extra beds in private hospitals will now become available for non-Covid patients.
Of the cases notified today:
- 1,465 are men / 1,712 are women
- 54% are under 45 years of age
- The median age is 42 years old
- 931 cases are in Dublin, 388 in Cork, 238 in Louth, 155 in Waterford, 151 in Limerick, and the remaining 1,368 cases are spread across all other counties.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “”This virus has taken root in every single part of the country. A significant percentage of the population – in excess of 1 in 10 in some counties – is currently either a case or a close contact. This is a huge burden of infection. When you consider that a significant percentage of our daily cases will directly lead to hospitalisation and mortality, the urgency with which we need to act becomes clear. By staying at home, you are protecting our health and social care services as they struggle against the enormous burden of infection that many weeks with thousands of daily cases of COVID-19 represents.”
“The improvements in cases is not happening fast enough. Too many people are still not complying as fully as we need with the advice. There are early indications that we may be levelling off in terms of improvement, but at far, far too high a level of infection. The UK variant is very likely making our challenge more difficult. Please follow the public health advice. The safest place at the moment is at home. Please stay at home.”
Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said: “Due to the nature of the mutation found in the UK variant of the virus, it is inevitable that it will become the dominant variant here in Ireland over time. The UK variant has adapted to us: simply put, it is better at moving from person to person when we come into contact. So what we must do is reduce its opportunities to spread by cutting out socialising. Stay home. Do not visit anyone else’s home. Do not attend illegal gatherings. Remember the simple and effective measures from springtime – wash your hands well and often, wear a mask, cough and sneeze into your elbow, keep 2 metres of space from others, and phone your GP at the very first sign of COVID-19 symptoms.”
Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, there have been an additional 22 deaths and 705 new cases today.
Source: Irish News