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Tony Holohan issues stark warning as Covid-19 hospitalisations surpass second wave

The CMO said hospitalisations increased sharply in the last two days.

Image: PA

CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER Dr Tony Holohan has expressed concern at the rise in the number of people with Covid-19 who require hospitalisation.

The National Public health Emergency Team (NPHET) reported this evening that there were 359 Covid-19 positive patients in hospital, of which 30 were in intensive care.

In a statement this evening, Dr Holohan said that more people have now been hospitalised in the current third wave of the pandemic than during the entire second wave of infections in Ireland. 

“We look at many metrics when monitoring the disease severity of Covid-19. Today we are reporting that we have now exceeded the cumulative number of people hospitalised in this third wave than in the second,” he said.

Hospitalisations have increased sharply in the last two days. This is a concerning trend which reflects the sharp increase incidence we saw in the last 10 days. 

The CMO added that testers have recorded a steep rise in the positivity rates in community testing as the seven day average has jumped to 9.2%, up from 5.2% on 18 December.

“This indicates that the virus is increasing its foothold out in our communities. This is just one more reason why we are strongly advising everyone to stay safely at home to avoid transmitting or catching this virus, as it continues to circulate widely,” Holohan explained.

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“Please come forward for testing if you feel unwell. Know the symptoms of Covid-19, and do not delay in phoning your GP for advice. Self-isolate in your room if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath or change in sense of taste/smell,” he added.

If you are a household contact of a confirmed case you should restrict your movements for 14 days even if your own test is reported as Covid ‘not detected’.

NPHET reported one further death and an additional 765 cases of Covid-19 today. Dr Holohan said the numbers come despite fewer people turning out for testing over the Christmas period.

“The data we are reporting today are lower than days up to 26 December. This however results from factors related to the time of the year, such as the lower rates of attendance and referrals and presentation for testing for several days over Christmas,” he said.

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Ceimin Burke

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