Further 23,125 cases and eight deaths as hospitals 'really struggling'

ireland
Further 23,125 Cases And Eight Deaths As Hospitals 'Really Struggling' Further 23,125 Cases And Eight Deaths As Hospitals 'Really Struggling'
There were 8,910 cases confirmed by PCR test while 14,215 people registered a positive antigen test result through the HSE online portal. Photo: Patrick Bolger/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Kenneth Fox

A further 23,125 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed by the Department of Health as well as eight deaths.

There were 8,910 cases confirmed by PCR test while 14,215 people registered a positive antigen test result through the HSE online portal.

As of Thursday, 1,425 patients are in hospital with the virus, a figure which has jumped by 30. Of these, 53 are in intensive care - down two since yesterday.

The number of patients in hospital with the virus has been continually trending upward since March 17th.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Hospitals are being told that they can cancel elective procedures as Covid takes a grip of the country again.

The HSE’s chief operations officer Anne O’Connor said a recommendation to hospitals to cancel elective procedures was "a last resort" for the health service.

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There were 1,338 patients in hospital with Covid at 8pm on Wednesday night — an increase of 29 per cent over the past seven days, she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

"Whether it's in our hospitals, our community services, our national ambulance service, we are really struggling in terms of the level of Covid across services and across our staff," Ms O'Connor said.

“A lot of (hospital) beds are being taken up with Covid,” she added.

In University Kerry Hospital, one-third of beds are occupied with Covid patients, which was a real cause for concern.

Half of the patients with Covid had been admitted with other conditions and, when tested, were found to have the virus, she explained. But that did not make a difference as they were still infectious and had to be admitted to a Covid ward which put “significant demand” on hospitals.

There are 5,200 health service staff absent from work at present because of Covid which meant that some hospitals' entire teams were absent and procedures were being cancelled.

The HSE had written to all hospitals on Wednesday, she said, about the necessity to focus on critical work such as cancer care and emergency departments. This would mean the cancellation of elective procedures as the numbers attending emergency departments could not be controlled.

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