Total of 2,029 cases of Covid-19 confirmed as HSE warns procedures will be cancelled if numbers rise

Total of 2,029 cases of Covid-19 confirmed as HSE warns procedures will be cancelled if numbers rise

A further 2,029 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Thursday evening.

As of 8am on Wednesday, 448 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 88 are in ICU, while the five-day moving average now stands at 1,906.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said there had been a significant increase in transmission over the course of the last fortnight.

“We currently have in excess of 500 cases per 100,000 of the population and disease incidence is rising in all age groups and in every part of the country.”

Earlier, HSE chief executive Paul Reid warned non-urgent procedures will have to be cancelled across the hospital system if Covid-19 numbers rise to the levels predicted by public health officials.

The National Public Health Emergency Team models forecast 800-1,000 Covid-19 patients in hospital by late November, including 150-200 in intensive care.

Mr Reid said if the system “gets near those numbers” elective care will be affected. Already, hospitals in Cork, Limerick and Galway have been forced to be cancel some elective work due to the rise in Covid-19 cases.

Last January, most non-urgent care had to cease due to the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals. Mr Reid said no-one wants to go back to this situation, where services collapsed.

As a society “we’re not where we’d like to be” and people needed to “reboot” their basic levels of protection due to the threat posed by the virus, he told a media briefing on Thursday.

The hospital system is facing increasing levels of risk, with many more Covid-19 patients seen every day, he said.

Test positivity was rising to concerning levels, he said, particularly in specific pockets across the country. In Kerry, 19 per cent of tests are positive, while in Waterford, the figure is 17-18 per cent.

The age profile of those testing positive has shifted significantly to older groups, leading to more people being hospitalised and admitted to ICU, Mr Reid said.

Incidence is rising across all age groups, with the biggest rises among older people – up 35 per cent in 65-74-year-olds and 33 per cent in 75-84-year-olds.

There were 448 Covid-19 patients in hospital on Thursday morning, including 88 in ICU – up 27 per cent in a week.

Mr Reid said a “disproportionate” number of patients in hospital and ICU were unvaccinated.

Some 65 per cent of hospitalised Covid-19 patients last week were fully vaccinated, and

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