Covid-19: ‘Great sign’ as ICU number falls below 100 for first time in months

ireland
The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised is also the lowest it has been so far this year. Photo: PA Images.
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The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units (ICU) has fallen below 100 for the first time in more than two months.

There are currently 99 patients in ICU, representing less than half the number seen in late January.

The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised is also the lowest it has been so far this year, with 401 inpatients.

Chief of the HSE Paul Reid described the numbers as a “great sign”.

The State's 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 has also fallen to its lowest level since Christmas Eve.

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It now stands at 185 cases per 100,000 people, after 522 new cases and nine further deaths were reported on Friday evening.

Deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said all indicators continue to head in the right direction.

“While we’ve come through a very challenging period over the past couple of months, we are making real progress and we continue to make that progress,” he said.

“We’ve seen a sustained reduction in the number of cases that we report week-on-week, our seven-day incidence, our 14-day incidence, our five-day moving average, our positivity rate, the number of referrals from GPs for tests – all of these indicators are going in the right direction.”

Dr Catherine Motherway, a consultant in intensive care at University Hospital Limerick, also said the falling hospital admissions were encouraging.

“The people coming into hospital are the ones that we will eventually see, we generally admit about 10 per cent of those patients to ICU, so as those numbers fall we expect to see reduced numbers come into us,” she said.

“That seems to be the case for the last few weeks, but as a result I’d say of reduced community transmission, which I’d say is the main driver, and also the vaccination programme as it’s being rolled out.”

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