Intensive Care Unit Consultant and President of the Intensive Care Society of Ireland, Dr Catherine Motherway has called for extra bed capacity to be created in Irish hospitals between now and the autumn.
Ireland is still behind the rest of Europe in terms of intensive care bed capacity, known as level 3 beds, Dr Motherway told RTÉ radio's Today with Sarah McInerney show.
In general the first wave of Covid-19 has settled, but there was no room for complacency and this time should be used to prepare for a resurgence in cases of Covid-19, she added.
I don’t think anyone can be complacent.
The response of the public had been wonderful, she said, but she did expect a second wave as “this is a very transmissible disease. It hasn’t gone away.”
Worldwide the figures reported to date were underestimated, she said as many people had the virus but did not realise because they had no symptoms.
In the event of a second wave of Covid-19 the Irish hospital system would be able to cope by cancelling all elective work while a permanent increase in ICU capacity was imperative, modular builds could be used in the interim, she said.
“The prevalence of the virus is low, but it will reignite if we are not careful”, she said.
It comes as the INMO revealed more than half of all recent Covid-19 cases involve healthcare workers.
Of the 88 new reported cases between June 13 and 22, 47 were among healthcare workers.