A one-day record of 1,095 new Covid cases was reached yesterday in the Republic. The previous high of 1,515 positive tests, reached back in April, included a large backlog of tests completed in Germany. Of the new cases announced on Wednesday evening, 70 per cent are under 45 years old. The median age of those affected is 31. This younger age profile is cited as one possible reason for the currently manageable number of hospitalisations. According to the Covid Tracker App there are 238 confirmed Covid cases in Irish hospitals around the country with ICU cases remaining steady at 30, at present. With the ongoing rise in positive cases, the number of hospitalisations is expected to increase dramatically in the coming weeks if no intervention is undertaken.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan yesterday described the situation as “extremely concerning”. With the usual winter surge in hospital admissions expected to begin around the end of October, the fear is, that with increasing numbers of Covid patients, the health service will be unable to cope with this year’s surge. Already, Cork University Hospital is under severe pressure, with outpatient services moved online and a substantial proportion of staff members on sick leave—either confirmed or suspected Covid cases.
While the highest 14-day incidence rates have been recorded in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal, rates are steadily climbing across the country with Dublin somewhat stabilised at 180.9 per 100,000 people.
Deputy CMO Dr Ronan Glynn said, “People must now make choices. Stop meeting up in groups, stop socialising, stop organising play dates, parties and other social activities. people must recognise that the disease is a direct threat to themselves and their families. Now is the time for each of us to act.”
The NPHET is meeting today and is expected to recommend further restrictions in an attempt to stem the rising Coronavirus tide.