GPs urge public to renew efforts as virus transmission soars

The HSE has warned that if transmission get out of control, hospitals may become overwhelmed.

GPs say they are concerned with the latest spike in Covid-19 cases after their tracker tool noted a rise in the number of patients reporting symptoms following the Bank Holiday weekend.

The number of referrals has also trebled in the past week.

On Thursday, the Department of Health confirmed 69 new cases had been detected, with five additional deaths. Four of these deaths were said to has occurred in April and June.

Irish College of General Practitioners lead advisor on Covid-19, Nuala O'Connor, says doctors are concerned with the current trend in figures.

"GPs, the Department of Health and the HSE are concerned, but we know what we need to do. We know that we have fantastic public support. It's only because of this public support and the public buy-in with the measures that we have managed to flatten the curve and we all just need to be extra vigilant."

The HSE are raising concerns that a spike in cases could lead to Irish hospitals becoming overwhelmed, particularly as the normal flu season rolls around.

Colm Henry from the HSE says a rise in community transmission would have a huge impact on hospital capacities.

"We know what happens if there is uncontrolled community transmission because we have seen it happen in other countries and what happens then is your hospital system, even the most developed in western Europe, such as northern Italy, becomes overrun.

"That includes intensive care units and then difficult decisions are made about entry into intensive care units and then intensive care is provided outside intensive care settings at not the same standard."

This comes as more than 710,000 people have died globally from the virus.

Almost 19 million people have also tested positive, according to figure from Johns Hopkins University.