The second wave is in full swing.
With a further 1205 new cases of coronavirus reported this evening and three further deaths from the disease, concern about hospital capacity is growing as the pressure on Ireland’s Intensive Care Units continues to build.
Of the new cases this evening, 173 are in Cork, with 288 cases in Dublin, 123 in Meath, 97 in Galway, 63 in Cavan and the remaining 461 cases spread across all remaining counties.
“There have been further increases across all key indicators of COVID-19 and the growth rate of the epidemic has accelerated since NPHET last met,” said Dr Tony Holohan, addressing an NPHET briefing this evening.
“Cases notified over the past week have increased by 82% compared with the previous seven days, from 3,514 to 6,382 cases. The positivity rate over the past seven days is now 6.2% and is continuing to increase.
“The number of hospitalisations are increasing faster than the exponential growth modelling predicted. This indicates a rapidly deteriorating disease trajectory nationally.”
Household and garden visits are banned from midnight tonight, with no more than six people from two households permitted to meet up outdoors in an attempt to stem the surge of infections.
While hospitals are said to be coping for now, health experts are nervous about what the coming weeks have in store.
Speaking at a Health Service Executive briefing this afternoon, CEO Paul Reid said hospital staff are “extremely anxious” about the unfolding surge in coronavirus cases and worried about the situation they will be facing in November.
Mr Reid revealed that 238 people are now battling the virus in hospital, an increase of 24 on last night’s figures. The number of patients requiring ventilation has also increased in recent days.
Mr Reid reminded the public that a quarter of people hospitalised with Covid-19 so far have been under the age of 35. Nine of the latest ICU admissions were people aged 35-64.
“Covid does impact all age groups,” he said.