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HSE boss issues ‘call to arms’ for public to stick to health advice as hospitals come under increasing pressure

The number of people in hospital is at its highest level in months.

HOSPITALS ARE COMING under increasing pressure as the number of people with Covid-19 who require hospitalisation continues to rise.

The number of new cases of the virus diagnosed has been rising for several weeks now, leading to the need for further restrictions for Dublin and Donegal.

A time lag between the rise in new cases and people developing severe illness means the impact of recent increases is now being felt in Ireland’s healthcare system.

In a tweet this morning, chief executive of the HSE Paul Reid flagged his concerns that although these figures are far below what was experienced during the spring peak of the virus – 879 in hospital with 160 in ICUs – this is now at a time when many other hospital services are back up and running.

He appealed to the public to follow the public health advice.

“We’ve now 110 Covid-19 hospital cases, 18 in ICU,” Reid wrote.

Although lower than our worst peak, the impact on our hospitals is as significant as we’re now trying to keep all of our other services running too.
This is a call to arms to everyone to get right behind all we ask.

The Sunday Business Post reports today that some hospitals are now at full capacity.

Serious concerns have been raised over the spread of the virus in counties Louth, Cork, Wicklow, and Galway, who all face moving from Level 2 to Level 3 of the Living With Covid framework if these trends are not reversed in the near future.

Speaking this afternoon to RTÉ Radio 1′s This Week, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said these counties are being watched closely by government and health authorities, but no decision has yet been made, and there are currently no plans to bring NPHET’s next scheduled meeting forward from Thursday.

The Minister said he was ‘very’ concerned for hospital capacity over the coming weeks, but highlighted the measures laid out in the HSE’s Winter Plan for hundreds of new hospital beds, as well as diverting resources to community healthcare services.

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The aim here is to allow people to be treated outside of hospital environments.

Minister Donnelly added that the government is speaking with private hospitals – individually, rather than collectively as with the previous agreement – to put in place surge capacity, and for some treatment backlogs to be tackled through the private system.

The acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn made an appeal yesterday to the public across the country to start limiting their social contacts immediately in order to stave off the need for for more prescriptive measures. 

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