Ireland has one of the lowest numbers of people in hospital with Covid-19

Ireland Has One Of The Lowest Numbers Of People In Hospital With Covid-19
Signage at the Beacon Hospital in Dublin, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Cate McCurry, PA

Ireland currently has one of the lowest numbers of people in hospital or intensive care with coronavirus per million population, according to the health watchdog.

Only the Czech Republic, Denmark, Israel and Norway have fewer Covid-19 patients.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) published an updated international review submitted to the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on public health measures and strategies to limit the spread of the virus.

HIQA found that restrictions continue to be eased across 18 of the 19 countries included in the review.

The exception was Portugal, where regional Covid-19 restrictions have been reintroduced.

HIQA said the pace of easing was noted to differ, as did the requirements to access certain services and facilities, and to attend events.

Similarly, the numbers allowed at private and public gatherings varied widely.

Since April, all of the reviewed countries have experienced falls in their rates of Covid-19 hospital and intensive care admissions as well as reductions in the number of deaths.

However, the latest data from HIQA show increasing Covid-19 incidence rates in more than half of the included countries, which is likely to be due to the widespread transmission of the Delta variant, first identified in India.


HIQA’s deputy chief executive and director of health technology assessment, Dr Mairin Ryan, said: “We need to remain cautious. While our rate of hospitalisations and ICU admissions is low, incidence rates are rising, which suggests an increase in hospitalisations may be ahead of us.

“The Covid-19 vaccine remains the best method to limit the spread of SARs-CoV-2 and safeguard against serious illness.

“Every country reviewed has rolled out a vaccination programme.

“In the European Union, Spain and Germany have the highest share of population that is fully vaccinated, at 39.5% and 37.6% respectively, with Ireland at 36.2%.

“We would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to be vaccinated, to do so.”

Meanwhile, Ireland’s chief medical officer has urged those who are not fully vaccinated to adhere to public health advice.

Dr Tony Holohan said a substantial number of the whole population will be vaccinated in the next six to eight weeks.

But he advised “the basic things like wearing a mask, washing your hands and responding to symptoms, avoiding crowds, not meeting up with people indoors, keeping the number of contacts that you have low and being aware at all of the situation you are in”.

He added: “If it’s a risky situation or a situation that you’re not comfortable in then the thing to do is walk away.

“Not going out and about if you have symptoms but self-isolating and arranging a test through your GP or a testing centre and keeping up that high level of compliance with public health advice over the next few weeks.

“If you are not vaccinated, your vaccination is just around the corner. We’re making great progress through the vaccination programme. We think in the next six- to eight-week period we will have a substantial number of the whole population vaccinated.

“So, your opportunity to be vaccinated is coming very soon. You don’t want to lose that opportunity by virtue of picking up this infection.”

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