HSE planning for Covid-19 to peak in Ireland in two weeks' time

HSE planning for Covid-19 to peak in Ireland in two weeks' time

The HSE has confirmed there are 88 people in intensive care due to coronavirus, but no hospital has reached capacity in its intensive care units.

More than 2,400 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Ireland but up to 80% of cases do not need hospitalisation.

Thirty-six people with the virus have also died since the outbreak began.

Chief Operations Officer with the HSE, Anne O'Connor, said new clinical hubs will also be set up this week to help those with Covid-19 symptoms.

Ms O'Connor said: "We are aiming this week to have one in each of our nine community health organisations. These will be clinical centres for people who are unwell who feel that they are becoming sicker.

"They will be staffed with nurses, GPs and other health professionals. So the idea is that people will be able to go there by referral, they are not centres for people to turn up to. They will be referred there by a GP or elsewhere to attend for a clinical assessment."

She said they believe the coronavirus will peak here between April 10 and 14, and the HSE are planning for those dates although they are not totally certain.

She added that they will continue to have a high number of people looking for treatment once that peak has come and gone.

It has also been confirmed that 2,000 extra beds will be made available to the health service from private hospitals.

They will be operating as public facilities for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms O'Connor said there are more than 2,100 acute beds available in the public system and 267 critical care beds, that is without including private hospitals. She added that they are securing more ventilators.

The HSE are currently testing around 5,000 people a day, but "that will scale up".

Almost 11,000 people are waiting for Covid-19 tests, with more than 4,000 waiting for a test appointment.

The press conference heard that the average wait time for results is now a matter of days, but with the change to testing criteria and scaling up of labs, that will improve.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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