802 Covid cases confirmed in 48 hours after HSE cyberattack

802 Covid cases confirmed in 48 hours after HSE cyberattack

No figures for Covid-19 cases numbers were released after the cyberattack compromised the HSE's IT services.  Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Health officials confirmed two days worth of Covid-19 case numbers this afternoon on social media after a cyberattack disrupted IT systems and the HSE's email communications. 

Altogether, the Department of Health confirmed 802 cases of the coronavirus in the last 48 hours along with no reported Covid-related fatalities. 

Friday saw 447 confirmed cases followed by 355 cases on Saturday.

The Department confirmed earlier today that it was also the victim of a cyberattack similar to the hack that has paralysed the HSE compromised systems significantly. 

109 patients are receiving treatment for the virus with 42 of them in intensive care. 

Vaccinations unchanged

The Department said that these figures are open to further change due to future case numbers being reported in the intervening period. 

Covid-19 vaccinations remain unaffected by the cyberattack with the appointments continuing across the country. The appointment registration system is also still in operation.  

Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said people in their 40s should be able to register for a vaccine shortly with vaccination to begin this month and continue through June. 

However, a huge number of hospital services have been disrupted including oncology, maternity, and pharmaceutical services. 

Health Service Impact

Yesterday in clinical advice issued to the health service, Dr Henry said the attack on the HSE's IT system could see stocks of critical medicines run out and could affect cancer treatments and could delay critical stroke treatments. 

Clinicians have been told that all diagnostics requests must or should be urgent and immediately required and that requests for examination and samples for lab analysis should be limited to those which are time-sensitive and essential.

The process to recover the HSE's IT system after the attack is ongoing but is expected to be very slow and gradual. Speaking on Newstalk, HSE chief operations officer Anne O'Connor said "the reality" is much of the system is still down.

"Where we're at, at the minute, is that we have between yesterday morning and this morning found that we do have some clean backup data available to be able to rebuild our servers from.

"However, we have thousands upon thousands of virtual servers so each server is going to have to be rebuilt and brought back up individually, so it's going to be a slow process."

The HSE's system has been "significantly compromised" in terms of patient management systems, she said, alongside other systems.

"And whilst they're lower risk from a patient perspective, in terms of communicating with GPs, communication between hospitals and community services, all of that, that's all gone "

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