Covid progress ‘completely undone’
There were 921 people in hospital with Covid-19 in Ireland as of Wednesday afternoon, exactly 40 more than the country’s previous peak of 881 in April last year, with over 101 admissions between Tuesday and Wednesday.
88 patients are confirmed to be in intensive care units around the country, a number well below the peak of 155 in April.
Earlier in the week HSE CEO Paul Reid said that the Irish health system has a surge capacity of 450 ICU beds.
This followed the release of figures from the HSE showing only 30 vacant ICU beds in the public health system.
However, speaking on Newstalk, former president of the Intensive Care Society, Dr Catherine Motherway said that havinf to use surge capacity is “not a situation staff want to be in”.
Cork city and county currently has over 9,200 confirmed Covid-19 cases in total since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed of 45 deaths in 2021 as of Tuesday evening. INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha has said that all progress has been “completely undone”.
She said: “What we are hearing from members across the country this weekend is deeply disturbing.
“Covid is creating more patients while also depleting staffing. It’s a vicious combination. Staff are far more experienced than they were at the start of this pandemic, but the sheer numbers are difficult to cope with.”
This week at least 100 nurses were unable to work in CUH having been in close contact with Covid-19 or having actually caught the virus.
This led to the closure of one ward in CUH, however the hospital remains open but only for emergencies.
It has also been confirmed that CUH has prioritised cancer care and so far has not been forced to cancel any appointments.
As of last Saturday, CUH’s ICU has been full to capacity according to the INMO.
Ms Ní Sheaghdha continued: “We need all hands on deck here. The Government and HSE must focus on supporting the exhausted frontline healthcare workers. This means taking on additional capacity in the private sector and ensuring the childcare needs of frontline workers are taken into account.”
Meanwhile, the Cork Independent can confirm that there are currently 19 patients with Covid-19 at Mercy University Hospital (MUH), with no Covid-19 patients in ICU at this time.
However, the situation is continuously evolving and is under constant daily review by hospital management and by the hospital infection control team.
A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed that diagnostics and infusion services, and oncology services are being maintained at existing levels of service.
However, endoscopy procedures and elective surgeries are being limited to essential and urgent cases only.
The spokesperson stressed that the hospital is requesting that the public remain vigilant and to follow public health and Government guidelines.