HSE chief says health system under ‘increasing strain’ with 1,421 in hospital

Updated: 10.27am

The chief executive of the HSE has said that the health system is now under “increasing strain” as 1,421 people are in hospital with Covid-19.

In a post on Twitter, Paul Reid said that 136 people have been admitted to hospital today alone, and there are a further 121 people in ICU.

He added: “The best support we can all now give, is to avoid getting sick with Covid. This will help to get us out the other side of this.”


It comes as a professor of epidemiology says the drop in Covid-19 cases gives hope, but it is too early to say if the numbers have flattened out.

Last night, 4,842 new cases of the virus were recorded after Friday’s record high of 8,248.

The country’s 14-day incidence rate has risen to 1,162 cases per 100,000 people, equating to one in 86 people testing positive for the disease in a two-week period.

UCC professor Patricia Kearney says lockdowns get cases down, but we must check people coming into the country: “We know that lockdowns have worked before, and they do bring the numbers down.

“The challenge is what you do when the numbers start to drop down and what we have done in the past is open up, then we start to see the numbers creep up again.”

She said this time we need to do things differently and try to eliminate community transmission as well as stopping the virus coming into the country from outside.

In the last seven days the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) said that 180, 897 tests have been carried out, with a positive rate of 21.8 per cent.

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