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Number of coronavirus hospital patients surges across country

Figures show the health system is coming under intense pressure.

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Paramedics and ambulances at the Mater Hospital in Dublin

Paramedics and ambulances at the Mater Hospital in Dublin

Paramedics and ambulances at the Mater Hospital in Dublin

The number of patients in hospital with coronavirus is continuing to rise, with 1,700 people now battling the virus in hospitals across the country.

Health chiefs have been warning about the escalating number of people sick with Covid-19 who require hospital care.

The health system is coming under intense pressure after Ireland’s rate of Covid-19 skyrocketed in recent weeks, resulting in an influx of patients at hospitals.

The number of patients in ICU is now at 143, and growing rapidly towards the peak number seen in the first wave, when 155 people were in critical care.

Paul Reid, chief executive of the HSE, repeated his call for people to stay at home.

Mr Reid tweeted: “Nobody wants more people sick with Covid-19.

“1,700 patients now in hospital and 143 in ICU would swap with any of us.

“The big ask of everyone is to stay at home and help get our hospitals and nursing homes back to safer levels.

“Our healthcare teams ask just this of us.”

Thirteen hospitals say they have no available intensive care beds.

The news comes after figures revealed Ireland has the world’s highest incidence of confirmed new Covid-19 cases per million people.

In the last week, Ireland has had 10,100 confirmed cases of coronavirus per million people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Officials said the number of people in hospital with the virus will peak at 2,200 to 2,500 people over the next two weeks, with an estimated 200 to 400 people in ICU.

If approved this vaccine will allow significant scaling up of vaccination programmeLeo Varadkar

It was confirmed on Tuesday that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) received a request from AstraZeneca for the approval of its Covid-19 vaccine.

Data had been submitted to European regulators for assessment of the vaccine.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar described it as a “very positive development”.

He tweeted: “If approved this vaccine will allow significant scaling up of vaccination programme.”

Meanwhile, supplies of the Moderna vaccine are expected in Ireland this week.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said Ireland had pre-ordered 875,000 shots of the Moderna vaccine.

PA


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