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Number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 currently stands at 310

As of 8pm last night, there are also 75 people with Covid-19 in intensive care units.

Image: Sasko Lazarov via RollingNews.ie

Updated Mar 25th 2021, 1:59 PM

THE NUMBER OF people with Covid-19 in hospitals across Ireland now stands at 310.

According to the latest data on the HSE Daily Operations website there are 310 people being treated for Covid-19 in hospital, as of 8pm last night. On Sunday, there were 325 people being treated for Covid-19 in hospital, according to the same site. 

As of 8pm last night, there are also 75 people with Covid-19 in intensive care units. 

Of those 75 patients, 53 are receiving ventilation care. 

Health officials last night confirmed a further 683 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) also reported a further 18 deaths. 

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Minister Simon Harris said he is “concerned” about the currently Covid-19 situation, but added that he’s “also optimistic”. 

“There’s 310 people in hospital with Covid-19, as of last night. No long ago that there was about 2,000 people. The number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 is down 9% on last week, the number of patients in ICU is reducing, the number of people being vaccinated is increasing,” Harris said. 

“I do genuinely believe that we are heading into a summer where we can see hope and where we can see reopening,” he said. 

Last night, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting that having all schools fully open in April is a top priority for the government.

It is understood that clusters in schools are being monitored closely by government and no concerns have been flagged as long as case numbers stay below 1,000 to 1,500 per day.

Varadkar said it also a priority for some restrictions to be eased that would see some low-risk outdoor activities to be allowed, stating that it is needed for people and their mental health. 

Varadkar said a number of things will feed into their decision-making process, such as the case numbers, the R number, hospitalisations, ICU numbers and vaccine programme.

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Varadkar said that next weeks messaging on Covid would be one of hope and that he and the government are hopeful, but that there must be “honesty and realism”.

“Cases are rising again. We are genuinely concerned about the possibility of a fourth wave before the summer before we have time to vaccinate those most at risk,” said Varadkar.

On Tuesday we will give as much clarity as we can, and as much hope as we can. But we will also need to be honest, we’re not out of the woods yet. I am hopeful about the summer, but the next couple of weeks are very worrying. The situation is deteriorating across Europe and appears to be deteriorating here as well.

“We’ve seen on so many occasions that this virus rips up our plans and I don’t want to give people assurances for six weeks time that we then have to withdraw in three weeks time”

Ireland’s hotel quarantine system is set to officially begin tomorrow, with Varadkar saying that Ireland now has the strictest border biosecurity in the European Union.

According to Varadkar, there will also be moves to add more countries to the hotel quarantine list, in addition to the 33 countries currently on the list.

“We will be adding a lot more countries to that list in the coming weeks once we get the system up and running.”

Speaking at his own parliamentary party meeting yesterday evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said by the end of April, Ireland will be in a different position, as all over-70s and those with serious underlying conditions will have received their first dose of a vaccine. 

Minister Harris said this morning that the government needs to “go beyond just telling people what April will look like”. 

“I think April will see a slight easing of some restrictions, some,” Harris said. 

“We have to look at how we can help people live with low risk activity, and doing this outdoors we know if safer than doing things indoors, but let’s be honest, we’re not going to be in a position to do a huge amount more in April,” he said. 

Harris said he would like to see the government “begin to spell out what the months of May, June and July might look like” as the vaccine programme ramps up.

Varadkar also said this afternoon that the government would “explore any avenue to secure more vaccine supply for Ireland”, but that they would not move outside the EMA’s approval process.

“We’re certainly willing to consider any vaccine that’s approved by the EMA, but we’re not willing to do, which is what some countries have done, is to bypass normal procedures and give emergency authorization on a national basis to a vaccine,” said Varadkar.

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When asked about government contact with the Russian ambassador about obtaining supplies of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, Varadkar said that he hadn’t been in contact but had spoken with the Israeli ambassador.

Elsewhere, five new ‘walk-in, no appointment necessary’ Covid-19 test centres are opening today across the country. 

The temporary testing centres will allow people who don’t have symptoms of Covid-19 to get a free test without having to contact their GP first. 

The HSE is opening the walk-in centres in areas where the number of positive cases are particularly high.

With reporting by Christina Finn and Tadgh McNally

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