| 6.7°C Dublin

Close

Premium

Inside the Mater's war on Covid-19

If the beds run out, we'll drop special medical pods in the car park, hospital chief executive Alan Sharp tells Maeve Sheehan

Close

Prof. Jack Lambert, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Mater, Rotunda and UCD (centre) with from left, Zachary, Security Manager, Ken A. Byrne, Porter and Róisin McCourt Acting CNM2 (Clinical Nurse Manager) Staff Development Facilitator at the Mater Hospital. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Prof. Jack Lambert, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Mater, Rotunda and UCD (centre) with from left, Zachary, Security Manager, Ken A. Byrne, Porter and Róisin McCourt Acting CNM2 (Clinical Nurse Manager) Staff Development Facilitator at the Mater Hospital. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Alan Sharp CEO of the Mater Hospital and Aoife Cotter, consultant in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Lead for the National Isolation Unit at the Mater Hospital.

Alan Sharp CEO of the Mater Hospital and Aoife Cotter, consultant in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Lead for the National Isolation Unit at the Mater Hospital.

Aoife Cotter Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Lead for the National Isolation Unit at the Mater Hospital.

Aoife Cotter Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Lead for the National Isolation Unit at the Mater Hospital.

Róisin McCourt Acting CNM2 (Clinical Nurse Manager) Staff Development Facilitator at the Mater Hospital.

Róisin McCourt Acting CNM2 (Clinical Nurse Manager) Staff Development Facilitator at the Mater Hospital.

Eamonn Brazil Consultant Emergency Medicine at the Mater Hospital.

Eamonn Brazil Consultant Emergency Medicine at the Mater Hospital.

/

Prof. Jack Lambert, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Mater, Rotunda and UCD (centre) with from left, Zachary, Security Manager, Ken A. Byrne, Porter and Róisin McCourt Acting CNM2 (Clinical Nurse Manager) Staff Development Facilitator at the Mater Hospital. Photo by Steve Humphreys

On Friday evening, a red sky stretches over Dublin city but there are still hours to work at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. A white board taking up much of a wall in the office of chief executive Alan Sharp is filled with lists of wards and bed numbers and mathematical equations. "It's my mind board," he says.

That night, there were 126 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total in the Republic to 683, where three weeks ago there was one. Three people have died, 12 are receiving critical care in intensive-care units and some of them are in the Mater. A surge is coming, but Mr Sharp cannot say when or what shape it will take.

He is known as a numbers man and a lot of fighting coronavirus comes down to numbers; how many will get the virus, how many will need admission, is there enough life-saving ventilation equipment to go around?