Ireland logged a further 8,039 cases of Covid-19 on Monday as the chief operations officer of the HSE said the disease has "not gone away from a health service perspective."
3,692 cases were confirmed by PCR test, while 4,347 positive antigen test results were uploaded to the HSE portal. The Department of Health has cautioned that self-registered test results are not directly comparable with laboratory PCR-confirmed cases.
There were 885 Covid patients hospitalised as of this morning, with 76 people in intensive care.
A total of 133,058 PCR tests were completed over the past seven days, with a positivity rate of 30.9 per cent.
Earlier on Monday, the HSE’s chief operations officer said that efforts to tackle hospital waiting lists will require a “whole of the health service” response, involving private hospitals and the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
Covid continues to have an impact on waiting lists, Anne O’Connor told RTÉ radio’s News at One.
“We still have 885 people in hospital. It has not gone away from a health service perspective," she said. “We have three times the waiting lists in hospitals.”
However, some inroads had been made she said, with inpatient waiting lists being reduced from 81,000 to 75,500, while waiting lists for scopes, an important diagnostic tool, had reduced from 36,000 to 27,000.
Outpatient waiting lists had been reduced by 41,000 to 617,000, said Ms O’Connor.
Ms O’Connor pointed out that 8,000 healthcare staff remained absent from work because of Covid, while some sites were “struggling” and were finding it difficult to get back to elective work. That remained “a trickle” at some sites and decisions were being made at local level.
Private hospitals were working closely with the HSE and had been “agile” in their response, providing 1,600 bed days. The safety net agreement which had been drawn up during the pandemic remained in place and the HSE would continue to access services through that until a strategic agreement was put in place, she said.