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Number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 drops below 400 for first time in 2021

NPHET said last night that all key indicators of the disease are improving.

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THE NUMBER OF patients in hospital with Covid-19 has fallen below 400 for the first time this year, new figures from the HSE show. 

A total of 392 people were in hospital with the virus as of 8pm last night -  a reduction of 26 patients on what was reported yesterday morning. 

There are currently 101 people in ICU. 

It comes as the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) said last night that all key indicators of the disease are improving. 

Public health officials last night confirmed a further 437 cases of Covid-19 and no additional deaths in Ireland.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said that by the end of this month, health officials will have a better idea about what the Covid-19 situation will be like in April and May.

“There are many, many countries who have deteriorated over the past couple of weeks in particular, and the level of vaccine that we have in people in this country at present, that’s simply not enough to avoid a deterioration or another wave if we drop our guard at this point,” the deputy CMO said.  

He said this will also require further improvement in the next few weeks. 

“We’ve made more progress in the last fortnight versus the previous fortnight than almost any other country in Europe. Just two countries in Europe had a better improvement in the last fortnight versus the previous fortnight.”

Dr Glynn said “we never want to go back” to a situation with increasing case numbers and hospitalisation numbers seen in the recent third wave of Covid-19. 

Dr Glynn said there have been no reported Covid-19 outbreaks linked to the partial reopening of schools last week.

Professor Philip Nolan added that NPHET will watch these figures “very carefully”.

“There are no early signs of an increase in disease in younger people or an increase in transmission amongst adults, or more widely in the population, as a consequence of schools reopening in the last week,” Nolan said.

However, he noted that an increase in cases linked to schools may not be evident until later this week or early next week.

Meanwhile, HSE CEO Paul Reid is also due to tell the Oireachtas Health Committee today that all major indicators of Covid-19 are now trending downwards, but Ireland is “not out of the woods yet”.

In his opening statement, Reid will tell the committee: “We are coming out of a very challenging period, although we are not out of the woods yet.

“While we know it has been extremely difficult for everyone, we are asking the public to stick with us over the coming weeks and continue to follow the public health guidance to help suppress the spread of the virus.

“The virus and its impacts on society remain largely unpredictable, and as such the need for proactive monitoring and agile planning will always be a feature of our response.”

Reid will also give the committee an update on Ireland’s vaccination programme.

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As of 5 March, 513,322 doses of Covid-19 vaccine were administered in Ireland: 363,601 first doses and 149,721 second doses.

Reid is expected to note that the HSE will continue to “build the appropriate capacity to administer 250,000 vaccines per week, subject to supply”.

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