Covid-19 peak likely at Easter
The HSE says that while there is no way of knowing exactly when Ireland will reach the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, they are expecting it to be between April 10 and 14.
Easter Sunday is on April 12, right in the middle of the expected peak period. Though with children already off school, church services cancelled and restrictions on travel in place, it was never going to be a typical Easter celebration.
As part of preparations for the peak, the HSE has taken over the City West Hotel and Conference Centre.
HSE CEO Paul Reid made the announcement during a briefing this morning (Sunday). He explained that the hotel would be used as an isolation unit for up to 1,100 people who could not self-isolate elsewhere. The conference facilities would be used as an overflow unit for people who were no longer in need of full hospital care but were not yet able to return home.
Mr Reid assured people that these plans would only come into being if hospital capacity was exhausted.
“We hope we will never have to use them,” he said.
There are currently 88 people in intensive care units (ICUs) around the country, 68% of whom are in Dublin. Mr Reid said that no hospital was as yet at capacity.
He thanked the public for supporting measures to stem the spread of Covid-19, stressing the importance of continued compliance.
Speaking about the new, stricter measures Mr Reid said: “They will help to reduce the impact on our operations. They will help to reduce the need for extra capacity in beds. They will save lives and they will support and reduce the number of people being treated in intensive care, so again I urge everybody to support the measures that are currently in place. They make a big difference.”
The HSE CEO said the most pressing issue was the need for personal protection clothing for front line health care workers. He said a consignment was expected from China later today.
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