The Chief Operations Officer of the HSE, Anne O’Connor has said that the rate of positive tests for Covid-19 will rise as testing becomes more focused.
Targeting testing at high-risk groups will mean a higher rate of positive cases, she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland. Areas being targeted include health care workers, nursing homes and care homes.
Testing had been reduced in recent days, she said, but with more testing kits becoming available, more testing will take place from tomorrow. “We had to look at where best to use the testing kits we have.”
Ms O’Connor said that the public health measures taken so far have been important and they are having an impact especially on the number of contacts which had dropped from an average of 15 to five.
“It is very important that people realise the impact they can have.”
This week will see 10 flights of equipment arriving with 300 more flights in the coming weeks, added Ms O’Connor. Equipment is being distributed with areas where stock was low being a priority.
Earlier on Newstalk Breakfast Ms O’Connor explained how intensive care units are changing with ventilated beds equipped with staff becoming important. There will be 2,000 ventilators in the country in the next few weeks, she said. The number of intensive care beds will also increase.
Private hospital beds will be utilised shortly to treat patients who do not have Covid-19, she said. Patients with heart conditions and requiring cancer treatment will be sent to private hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister will meet top officials today to arrange
There are now 17 clusters of the coronavirus in nursing homes across the state.
Simon Harris says he is very worried about the prevalence of the illness among older people.
Yesterday it was announced that 10 more people in Ireland had died after contracting Covid-19.
It brings the death toll since the beginning of the outbreak to 46.
There have also been 200 new confirmed cases of the virus in the country – bringing the total to 2,615.