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650 Covid-19 patients are receiving critical care, including 214 in ICU

HSE CEO Paul Reid said health teams are ‘battling to save lives’.

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File photo
Image: Shutterstock/Terelyuk

Updated Jan 24th 2021, 3:23 PM

THERE ARE CURRENTLY 650 Covid-19 patients receiving levels of critical care in Irish hospitals.

HSE CEO Paul Reid this morning confirmed that 214 patients are in ICU (131 of whom are on ventilators) and 436 people are on advanced respiratory support.

Reid said health teams “are battling to hold the levels of care that we value, and to save lives”.

“It’s not an emergency department crisis now, but it’s probably more critical than that,” he added.

There are 1,914 people with Covid-19 in hospital today, 80 patients were admitted and 47 discharged.

Speaking later on RTÉ’s This Week programme, Reid said he expects the number of ICU admissions to “hold if not grow” in the coming days.

Reid said hospitals are seeing a huge difference in delayed discharges of patients from intensive care, as well as increased mortality.

He described the number of ICU admissions as a “real challenge”.

Yesterday 77 more deaths and 1,910 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in Ireland.

Vaccine rollout

Taoiseach Micheál Martin yesterday said restrictions will be in place for six months and schools may not reopen until March as Ireland battles the third wave of the virus.

He also said that the rollout of the vaccine to over-70s may be delayed because of production issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Martin said the government was waiting on this vaccine and that its delay will “put us in a problem”.

“AstraZeneca was going to be the catalyst to be allowed to move from low level to mass vaccination,” Martin said.

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However he said it is still the government’s aim to deliver mass vaccination by the end of June, adding that April, May and June will be key months in terms of the rollout.

“There are contractual arrangements between the European Commission and AstraZeneca, and I expect some very robust meetings in the coming days and engagements between the European Commission and AstraZeneca,” Martin said.

British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca on Friday warned that supplies of its Covid-19 vaccine to Europe will be “lower than originally anticipated” due to reduced production at a manufacturing site.

Reid today said the impact of AstraZeneca shortfalls will be a “feature of the supply issue”.

He said the HSE has been reassured of next month’s vaccine supply being delivered as planned, and will commence vaccinating the over 70s in mid-February.

“We are not quite sure of the impacts beyond that in terms of how long it will take us to complete that.”

Reid also said that by the end of today residents and staff in all nursing nursing homes will have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine with the exception of a very small number due to outbreaks of the virus.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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