The number of patients hospitalised with coronavirus has hit yet another height for the fifth day in a row.
here are now 1,421 patients in hospital as of 8am on Sunday, the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic.
136 patients have been hospitalised in the last 24 period, also a new record since the start of the pandemic.
Of 1,421 in hospital, 120 of these patients are in ICU.
41 patients have been discharged in the past 24 hour period.
HSE CEO Paul Reid said that Ireland’s health system is “under increasing strain”.
“Our health system is under increasing strain,” he wrote on Twitter.
He said that the “best support” is to avoid contracting the virus.
“The best support we can all now give, is to avoid getting sick with Covid. This will help to get us out the other side of this,” Mr Reid added.
Yesterday, a further nine deaths and 4,842 cases of coronavirus were reported by the Department of Health.
There has now been a total of 2,336 deaths and 140,727 virus deaths in the State.
While there has been a fall in the numbers of daily cases, HSE CCO Dr Colm Henry warned that these figures may not be entirely accurate due to the stopping of testing of close contacts.
“I would urge caution in terms of those figures because we stopped testing close contacts of confirmed cases recently so the absolute number of tests and the absolute number of positives would not be an absolute accurate indicator of the disease,” he said, speaking with Brendan O’Connor on Radio One.
He added that health chiefs track the disease through following its trends and its positivity rates, that it is “widespread” in the community. This also means that there is now secondary transmission within hospitals.
“We know enough from the activity in primary care and community assessment hubs and the activity in hospitals that the disease is widespread in the community and is feeding into hospitals and is causing secondary transmission within a hospital settings,” Dr Henry said.
However, while there is still capacity in hospitals, the healthcare system is particularly suffering due to staff shortages because of Covid-19 related reasons – such as being close contacts or having contracted the disease themselves.
600 beds are “lost” in acute hospitals due to staff shortages and 800 staff in nursing homes are unable to go to work due to prevention control measures.
“Our staff are under huge pressure.
“I can’t over emphasise the disruptive effect this has on healthcare because of thousands of Covid and healthcare staff being lost,” Dr Henry said.
Source: Irish News