Exiting third Covid-19 wave will be ‘longer and stickier’ than before

ireland
Exiting Third Covid-19 Wave Will Be ‘Longer And Stickier’ Than Before Exiting Third Covid-19 Wave Will Be ‘Longer And Stickier’ Than Before
A man walks past a sign for a vaccination centre at DCU on Collins Avenue in Dublin. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images
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By Michelle Devane, PA

The pace of Ireland’s exit from the third wave of Covid-19 is going to be “longer and stickier” than previous waves, despite “good trends” overall in the fight against the virus, the health service chief has said.

Paul Reid said the pace of exiting this wave of the virus was going to be “a lot slower than the scale and pace than we entered it” because the virus was still transmitting at a “very risky level” across the community.

“It is going to take longer, it is going to be stickier and not at the pace that any of us would want or like,” Mr Reid said.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said exiting the third wave of the virus is going to be slower than previous waves. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The HSE chief executive said people with Covid-19 were presenting much sicker to hospital and that once admitted they were staying longer in hospital and ICU than in previous waves.

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Mr Reid said there are 771 patients in hospital with Covid-19 on Thursday afternoon including 148 who were in intensive care units (ICU).

He said about 200 coronavirus patients were receiving advanced respiratory care on hospital wards.

But the number of people admitted to hospital with the virus had fallen by more than 25 per cent in the last week and ICU admissions were down 11 per cent.

Mr Reid said he understood the public’s frustration over the rollout of the vaccination programme but he said it had entered a new phase this week with people over the age of 85 being vaccinated.

“We fully appreciate the frustration expressed by many members of the public and others that would like to see more vaccinations done every week,” he said.

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“There’s nobody would like to see more of that than us.”

He said the HSE was committed to delivering all the supply it receives and it was administering 95 per cent of any supply of vaccines it receives so any issue was a supply one.

As of Monday, a total of 280,581 doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered, comprising 182,193 first doses and 98,388 second doses.

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