Progress is being made, but we’re far from out of the woods.
That’s the warning from Ireland’s top health experts today, as the HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said the level of transmission, an average of 2,500 reported cases daily, is “far too high” to consider reopening schools.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Henry said the transmission rate is now ten times what it was at the beginning of December, placing the country in a “precarious position”.
There have been 532 deaths from the virus so far in January and incidence remains very high across all age groups, particularly in those aged 85 and older.
Earlier this morning, HSE CEO Paul Reid said frontline workers are struggling to cope, with 1,943 coronavirus patients currently needing hospital care.
“We’ve never seen 66% of patients in ICU (211) being treated for the same illness.” Mr Reid tweeted.
We’ve never seen 66% of patients in ICU (211) being treated for the same illness. We’re battling hard to sustain safe levels of care but its getting harder.300 patients are also receiving respiratory support outside of ICU. Nothing is more serious. #StaySafe @HSELive #COVID19
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) January 22, 2021
“We’re battling hard to sustain safe levels of care but it’s getting harder. 300 patients are also receiving respiratory support outside of ICU. Nothing is more serious.”
On December 1st, when restrictions were last eased, the five-day moving average was 261 cases per day. It is now almost ten times that number at 2,430 cases per day.
“It is evident that the population is working as one to reduce contacts and interrupt further transmission of the disease,” said Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health.
“However, we are witnessing the effects of high levels of community transmission through our hospital and ICU admissions and reported deaths. We need to continue to work together to drive this infection down and bring the disease back under control.”