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Current Covid wave has peaked but hospital capacity remains under pressure, says CMO

46 Covid-19 related deaths were reported in the first 19 days of this month.

Image: Shutterstock/Terelyuk

IRELAND’S 14-DAY INCIDENCE rate has fallen by 13% in the past week, according to a report from interim Chief Medical Officer Professor Breda Smyth to Minister for Health Stephen Donelly. 

As of 20 July, the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 people was 524, down from 600 the week previously, although the CMO noted that incidence rates are likely to be underestimates.

There were 704 confirmed Covid-19 cases in hospital on the morning of Friday 22 July, compared with 943 on the previous Friday.

Professor Smyth wrote that:

“You will be aware from colleagues in the Department that, with 704 COVID-19 inpatients on 22nd July, the acute hospital system remains under considerable pressure with Covid-19 continuing to impact on acute capacity.”

“Covid-19 mortality has remained relatively stable, although it is noted that there can be a lag in reporting of deaths.”

The report stated that there have been 7,620 Covid-19 related deaths reported in Ireland since the outset of the pandemic.

46 of these took place from the beginning of July until midnight until 19 July.

86 people died in the month of June, 121 in May and 347 in April.

“The COVID-19 burden on acute hospital care remains significant but has reduced from a recent peak,” Professor Smyth added.

It is possible that deaths will appear to increase in the coming weeks as a result of the lag in the recording of deaths that took place during the peak.

A total of 10,781 confirmed PCR cases have been reported in the 7 days to 20 July, which was a 24% decrease from the previous week.

The report continued: “In summary, the overall epidemiological situation indicates continuing high levels of infection and a significant number of cases receiving general hospital care, although this figure has fallen over recent days.”

“On average, there have been 99 new Covid-19 hospitalisations per day observed in the seven days to 22 July.”

As of last Tuesday the age breakdown of cases hospitalised for Covid-19 showed that 36% were aged 80 and older, 35% aged 65-79, 15% aged 50-64, 10% aged 15-49 and 4%
aged 0-14 years old.

There were 38 confirmed cases in critical care as of 22 July, compared with 35 a week before. 16 people were invasively ventilated.

There were 289 hospital acquired Covid-19 infections reported in the week ending 10 July, compared to 230 in the week ending 3 July and 199 in the week ending 26 June.

Earlier this month, at the peak of the infectious wave, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) called for elective procedures to be rescheduled at University Hospital Galway due to the overcrowding issues and Covid-19 infections.

70 patients were without a bed in the hospital, the highest level of overcrowding in UHG since 2019.

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