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'Encouraging news': Covid-19 hospitalisations fall compared to start of Level Five

Currently, there are 254 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, with 35 in ICU.

Image: Shutterstock/Guschenkova

THE NUMBER OF patients in hospital with Covid-19 has fallen to 254 in what the head of the HSE has called “encouraging news”.

Currently, there are 254 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, with 35 in ICU.

The figures represent a decrease on the growing numbers of hospitalised patients with a confirmed case of Covid-19 that were seen in recent weeks.

CEO of the HSE Paul Reid said the figures were “really encouraging news”.

“Let’s hope this is the start of a trend so that these patients can get home for Christmas with their families,” Reid said.

“We can all help to stop more admissions,” he said.

Covid-19 Dashboard hospitalisations Source: Covid-19 Dashboard

At the start of the implementation of Level Five restrictions on 22 October, 204 Covid-19 patients were in hospital and 37 were in ICU.

The number of hospitalised coronavirus patients reached 344, with 39 in ICU, on 26 October – the highest number of Covid-19 patients in hospital since the end of May.

Overall, the number of new daily cases has decreased since the start of Level Five restrictions, which have placed stringent limitations on most forms of social activity.

However, public health officials have warned the government that the rate of infection among over-65s and in nursing homes is concerning.

In a letter from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on 5 November, Holohan said that the incidence of Covid-19 among older people was a cause for concern.

“Notwithstanding the continued overall decrease in case numbers and incidence rates in the general population, outbreaks in nursing homes and the burden of infection among the older age groups (65 years and older) remain a concern,” Holohan said. 

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As of 5 November, 56 open clusters of Covid-19 were associated with nursing homes, while 33 were associated with hospitals.

Yesterday, seven deaths and 482 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in Ireland.

Holohan said that the increase was an “important reminder of the unpredictable nature of this highly infectious disease”.

“We need to hold firm to the public health advice: keep 2m distance, wash our hands, wear face coverings where appropriate and limit ourselves to essential contacts from our own household,” he said.

“If we can keep up high levels of compliance, we can get to where we need to be on 1 December.”

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