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All ages now in ICU as Donnelly warns the peak is still to come

'No-one can feel advice does not apply to them'

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan is deeply concerned

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan is deeply concerned

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan is deeply concerned

The situation in hospitals is stark with people of all ages being admitted to intensive care units (ICU) due to Covid-19, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has warned.

And Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said the number being hospitalised and admitted to ICU is expected to peak within the next week or two.

The latest figures show there are 1,928 patients in hospital with the virus.

Deaths

There were 2,944 new cases of Covid-19 reported yesterday as well as 13 deaths, all of which occurred this month.

It came after 60 deaths were reported on Saturday as well as 3,231 new cases.

Of the cases notified yesterday: 1,065 cases were in Dublin, 306 were in Cork, 181 were in Galway, 180 were in Kildare, 160 were in Limerick and the remaining were spread across all other counties.

Dr Holohan said: "We are seeing people of all ages being admitted to hospital and being taken into intensive care units.

"The levels of infection are such that your chances of transmitting or getting Covid-19 are very high, and we know that a proportion of those cases will lead to serious illness and mortality.

"There is no group who should feel the public health advice does not apply to them."

He also urged employers to facilitate their employees working from home.

"As we look forward to the week ahead, consider your choices and make the right ones. Do not go into work tomorrow if you can work from home. If you are an employer, facilitate remote working for your employees."

Meanwhile, Mr Donnelly warned on RTÉ's This Week that the numbers in ICU will continue to rise and "the situation will get worse before it gets better".

However, he said the number of patients being hospitalised with Covid-19 is expected to peak within the next week or two, in what has been the third wave of the pandemic here.

He said that new modelling in the past few days from Professor Philip Nolan, who heads a team tracking Covid-19, suggests that this week, or potentially next week, "the hospitalisations and the number of patients in ICU should peak". Mr Donnelly said there are currently 195 patients in critical care.

Surge

"The number in ICU is going to continue to rise. We know it's going to get worse before it gets better. We have surge capacity of 350 critical care beds."

He said there are 40 to 50 critical care beds available under the deal in place with private hospitals.

"The focus right now is on making sure we have the beds, most importantly we have the staff. There has been a lot of work done since the first wave.

"PPE is fine. The number of ventilators if you remember back in March was a very serious concern, oxygen is fine."


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