Covid-19: Ireland sees lowest demand for hospital treatment since March

Updated 12:07

Ireland has reached its lowest number of Covid-19 cases needing hospital treatment since March, the acting chief medical officer said.

There are six confirmed cases undergoing treatment in hospital.

Across Europe the pandemic appears to be accelerating once again, Dr Ronan Glynn said.

He added: “We have an opportunity to avoid a similar scenario here.”

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Dr Ronan Glynn (Niall Carson/PA)</figcaption>
Dr Ronan Glynn (Niall Carson/PA)

The health system was notified yesterday of another 14 confirmed cases but no new deaths.

Ireland has driven down its rate of infection with an early lockdown, widespread testing and largely good compliance with social distancing advice.

Dr Glynn added: “Eleven of today’s cases were close contacts of confirmed cases and half of these had no symptoms.

“If you are concerned that you have been in contact with a confirmed case, please come forward for testing. Do not wait for symptoms to emerge.”

Hospitals placed on a wartime footing by health chiefs have avoided being overwhelmed by the infection.

Dr Glynn said: “There are now eight confirmed cases of Covid-19 in our hospital system, the lowest number since early March.”

Irish police have reported widespread compliance with public health regulations by pub owners.

Contact tracing is one of the vital measures that will allow us to contain the virus

Only pubs which serve a substantial meal can open and drink-only bars must wait until next month.

From Monday July 20 to last Sunday, police found potential breaches of health regulations and/or licensing laws on 22 occasions.

Most cases continue to involve no evidence of food being served or consumed and no evidence of receipts to show that food had been sold.

More than 100 people have been warned they have come into close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case through the contact tracing app.

Almost 1.45 million people have downloaded the Covid-19 tracker app since it went live in recent weeks.

Public health chiefs say the app plays a vital part in Ireland’s fight against coronavirus.

Senior civil servant Liz Canavan, of the Department of the Taoiseach, described the app as a “very important enhancement” to the tracing service, but she did not say how many of the close contacts had also tested positive or if any had been tested.

“Remember the testing isn’t just about you. It’s about the people around you, the people you’ve been in contact with, some of whom may be much more vulnerable to the disease than you are,” Ms Canavan said.

“There may be people that you don’t even know that you were close to in a public space. That’s why the Covid tracker app is another tool in our toolbox.

“Contact tracing is one of the vital measures that will allow us to contain the virus, and the Covid tracker app is a very important enhancement to our contact tracing service.

“To date, 105 people have been alerted by the app that they have been in close contact with a confirmed case.

“If you’ve been in close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid, the app sends you a close contact alert. If you provide your phone number, the HSE will then contact you to give you advice and refer you for testing if that’s appropriate.”