Covid restrictions can be avoided if hospital admissions are stable, Varadkar says

ireland
Covid Restrictions Can Be Avoided If Hospital Admissions Are Stable, Varadkar Says Covid Restrictions Can Be Avoided If Hospital Admissions Are Stable, Varadkar Says
Leo Varadkar said nobody can rule out another lockdown. Photo: PA
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Renewed restrictions can be avoided if the number of Covid patients in intensive care units can be limited to around 150, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has suggested.

Mr Varadkar was speaking against a backdrop of continued high daily numbers of new Covid-19 cases.

A further 2,605 Covid cases were confirmed in the Republic on Thursday. The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 stands at 487, with 99 in intensive care.

When asked by reporters about the chances of another lockdown, Mr Varadkar said that “nobody can rule it out”. He said he thought it could be avoided “because of the vaccination programme – 2,000 or 3,000 cases a day doesn’t mean what it meant last year or last winter”.

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“The question is to what extent does that translate into hospitalisations, ICU numbers and deaths.

“Thankfully the number of deaths – while deaths are happening and every death is a tragedy – are a fraction of what they would have been previously because of the vaccines.

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“And ICU numbers are now about a hundred, hospital numbers about 500.

“Our projections are that we could see the numbers in hospital increase to maybe 800 – but bear in mind there are more than 800 extra beds in the system than there were before the pandemic – and ICU numbers may be going to 150, a bit higher.

“If we can keep it in that space then I don’t think it will be necessary to re-impose restrictions.

“But if it started to go well ahead of those kind of numbers then we would started to get more worried,” Mr Varadkar said.

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