Incidence of Covid-19 remains 'concerningly high' as 4,764 cases confirmed 

Incidence of Covid-19 remains 'concerningly high' as 4,764 cases confirmed 

There is less than 600 people in hospitals for the first time in 11 days, while 126 are in ICU, a drop of six since yesterday. Photograph: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The incidence of Covid-19 remains “concerningly high”, the Chief Medical officer has warned as a further 4,764 new cases are confirmed, with 62,401 cases reported in the last 14 days.

As of 8am today, 598 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised.

There are fewer than 600 people in hospitals for the first time in 11 days, while 126 are in ICU, a drop of six since yesterday.

However, the figure is still 6% higher than it was last Thursday.

Latest figures show that 65% of ICU admissions last week due to Covid-19 were people who haven't been vaccinated.

Speaking on today’s cases, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the incidence of the virus remains “concerningly high”, with 62,401 cases reported in the last fortnight.

“We need to continue to make every effort we can to drive down incidence of disease and break the chains of transmission,” he said.

“Covid-19 spreads when an infected person is in close proximity to other people. The best way we can stop Covid spreading to the people we meet is by meeting fewer people and avoiding crowds.

If you are socialising, think about the risk associated with the activities you have planned."

He urged people to be mindful of contacts in the days after socialising, and to especially consider anyone they meet who may be immunocompromised or vulnerable to Covid-19.

“If you experience symptoms isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test — not an antigen test," he said.

Earlier, the HSE said that it is obvious people are responding to new restrictions on working from home and the advice to cut social contacts.

However, HSE chief executive Paul Reid says there needs to be a prolonged response from the public.

We’re seeing a very strong response from the public over the last week- ten days in particular- many people, and it’s very obvious, now have moved to work from home."

He added: “We need to continue all of the actions.”

Mr Reid also described the extreme challenges in dealing with the volume of referrals for Covid-19 tests, as the system comes under pressure.

 HSE CEO Paul Reid at Dr Steevens’ Hospital for the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19. Picture: Leah Farrell / Photocall Ireland
HSE CEO Paul Reid at Dr Steevens’ Hospital for the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19. Picture: Leah Farrell / Photocall Ireland

He said that while the capacity for PCR tests have been increased to deal with the rising demand, there is a limit to what the health service can cope with.

He said the high levels of transmission in the community is affecting the demand for PCR testing.

“It is extremely challenging in dealing with all the referrals, so we do appreciate the frustration,” Mr Reid said.

“We put in the capacity but there are limits as to what capacity we can keep pumping into a system at these levels."

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