Video: Hospitals face crisis amid rising Covid cases; TD calls for audit of ‘unwinnable’ Lotto

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Hospital capacity

HSE chief executive Paul Reid has warned of the “unthinkable” consequences of hospital capacity becoming exhausted amid the latest surge of Covid-19 cases.

Hospital managers have been told to identify extra intensive care capacity to cope with an expected increase in Covid hospital admissions over the next two weeks.

Mr Reid said the situation was very difficult and the HSE had introduced a range of actions to mitigate pressure such as utilising private hospitals for urgent care, cancer and cardiology treatments.

Coronavirus figures

The pressure in hospitals comes as Covid infection rates in Ireland have reached their highest levels in nearly a year.

According to the latest official figures, Drogheda in Co Louth is the most Covid-infected part of the Republic.

The Drogheda Urban local electoral area reported 2,415 cases per 100,000 people over the most recent two-week period. The infection rate in Drogheda has more than trebled from three weeks ago when the area had 691 cases per 100,000.

Mandatory vaccines in Austria

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Covid-19 cases are surging across Europe with Austria entering full lockdown, while the same cannot be ruled out in Germany, according to health officials.

Austria will become the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full coronavirus lockdown this autumn to tackle a new wave of infections, and will require mandatory vaccinations for its whole population as of February, its government said today.

Marie and Darragh Downey inquest

A verdict of medical misadventure was recorded at an inquest for both Marie Downey and her newborn son Darragh Downey, who died at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) more than two years ago.

The four-day-old baby died after his mother had an epileptic seizure in her hospital bed collapsing on top of him with the weight of her lifeless body stopping blood supply to his brain and other organs, the inquest heard.

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Marie's husband, Kieran Downey, said he has no faith in the system and very little confidence that seismic changes will occur to prevent other families from experiencing such traumatic loss.

‘Unwinnable’ Lotto

Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan has called for an urgent probe into the “unwinnable” National Lottery jackpot.

The record €19 million jackpot has rolled over 46 times since it was last won on June 6th, which has prompted the Kildare North TD to raise questions.

“Currently ahead of tomorrow night’s lotto draw, the prospect of winning is so remote that punters must be thinking Shergar would have a better chance at winning Squid Game,” he said.

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