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Children aged under four in intensive care among 33 hospitalised with Covid-19 in two weeks

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Stock image. Photo: Getty Images

Stock image. Photo: Getty Images

Stock image. Photo: Getty Images

A number of children seriously ill with Covid-19 were admitted to intensive care in the last fortnight amid ongoing uncertainty about the impact of the virus on schools in the coming months.

Figures show in the two weeks to last Wednesday there were 33 under-18s hospitalised with Covid-19 – of whom four were in intensive care including children aged under four.

Asked if the HSE was concerned about the numbers of children with the virus in hospital, a spokeswoman said: ”There has always been some hospital admissions for children with Covid-19 but at a very low level in comparison to the adult population.

“Generally they are of a lower clinical severity of disease. But of course this is something that is always closely monitored.”

Those aged under 18 account for slightly more than one in ten of 325 Covid-19 hospital admissions over the two weeks.

It comes as 1,620 new cases of the virus were reported nationally yesterday among all age groups.

There is a continuing decline in cases with the seven-day case average now at 1,422 compared to 1,619 a week ago.

There were 328 Covid-19 patients in hospital, down from 353 last week.

However 59 of these are intensive care, up from 55 last Friday.

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As of yesterday 89.4pc of over-16s were fully vaccinated and 90pc of over-18s had received two jabs.

Professor Philip Nolan, who tracks the virus for the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), said incidence has fallen over the last 14 days and the numbers in hospital and intensive care have stabilised.

While the seven day average has fallen it is “still very high”, he said.

”High incidence means each of us has a significant risk of becoming infected and further spreading the disease, even if we are vaccinated.”

“The coming weeks are our opportunity to drive incidence down and reduce the risk so we can continue to reopen safely.

“The basic measures – self-isolating if symptomatic, a little physical distance, respiratory and hand hygiene, masks if needed, ventilation and prioritising our social contacts – will further reduce incidence and protect children, schooling and the vulnerable in the coming weeks.”

Some counties continue to have worrying incidence of Covid-19, particularly those around the Border region including counties Monaghan, Donegal and Cavan.

The Central Statistics Office yesterday said there were 21 Covid-19 related deaths in the week ending September 3.

Those under the age of 44 accounted for 74pc of Covid-19 cases in that week.

Dublin and Cork have the highest number of cases.

Kilkenny, Leitrim, Longford, Sligo and Waterford had the fewest cases, less than 150 cases in each county, in the same week.

Hospitalisations had decreased by 35pc and were 140 in that week.

There were 16 intensive care admissions in the week to September 3, down from a peak of 123 in week ending January 15.

Asked if additional staff had been employed to oversee the oversight of Covid-19 in schools, the HSE said its public health teams remained the same size.

But they have been relieved of some administrative dues to allow for greater clinical focus in more complex education settings.

There are 100 staff in the Central Administrative Team supporting public health teams in schools, up from 17 last term.

A further 30 staff are involved in various stages of schools’ contact tracing and testing. This will increase to 34 staff.

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland


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