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Holohan: Majority of people with Covid-19 are recovering and 53 who were in ICUs have been discharged

Although most people have been able to recover at home, officials said there is no room for complacency as vulnerable groups are still at a high risk.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE COUNTRY’S CHIEF Medical Officer has said the majority of people who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus are recovering well in their own homes.

This evening, Dr Tony Holohan confirmed a further 25 people who were diagnosed with Covid-19 have now died, bringing the total to 235. There are now 6,074 confirmed cases in Ireland.

Dr Holohan also provided an update on admissions to intensive care – there have been 227 patients admitted to ICUs to date. He said 53 of these patients have been discharged and 27 of them died. 

The CMO said he will shortly be in a position to provide more detail on recovery numbers across the country, but he said most people are recovering in the community.

The majority of cases are recovering from this infection, people in the community whether they’re advised they have a positive test, or whether they’ve not had a test, who have self-isolated for the 14 days, whose health has not deteriorated or caused them to be hospitalised can regard themselves as having recovered at the end of the 14 day period, if the last five days has been without a temperature or without fever.

“And so the majority of people who have had this infection in this country will have recovered,” he said. 

“Obviously the ones that I’ve given you specific information on are those who are more severe cases in intensive care units.”

Dr Liam Woods, National Director of Acute Operations at the HSE added that most people in hospital who have Covid-19 “are not in ICU, and are in fact being treated and being discharged”.

“As Tony said we will, we’ll bring data on that because now that is happening more, which is very welcome.”

Woods, responding to to reports of ICUs in Dublin hospitals being close to full capacity,  acknowledged there has been an increased demand, particularly in the capital.

However he said all hospitals have a plan to “surge” their ICU capacity to move into high dependency units and other areas of the hospital where they can provide high intensity care.

The median age of admissions to intensive care is 61 and 80% of these patients have an underlying health condition, according to data released this evening. 

Woods said arrangements have been made and are still ongoing now around additional staff training and access to ventilators to increase capacity.

He also said the resources are there to transfer patients to hospitals in other counties if required. 

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Although recovery rates appear positive, health officials have warned against complacency. Guidance from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and COntrol (ECDC) today stated that the risk of severe disease associated with the Covid-19 in the EU is moderate for the general population and very high for vulnerable groups. 

The ECDC also advised it is currently too early to start lifting community and physical distancing measures. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will meet on Friday morning to review the impact of ongoing measures. 

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