The CEO of the Health Service Executive has said it has to be accepted that Covid-19 transmission is rampant and well in excess of forecast levels and test and trace is not our first line of defence against the disease.

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne, Paul Reid said that the public needs to stay at home and reduce contacts. By doing so, he said, we will get this under control.

He said that fear does not drive action and it is within our grasp to turn the situation around and to turn it around soon.

However, he warned that what we do today is important. Mr Reid said the daily case rate is well above 5,000 and heading for 6,000.

Mr Reid said we are seeing a massive multiplier effect with rapidly growing cases and positivity and increased contacts, adding that transmission rates are far above any projections.

Paul Reid said the testing capacity has been increased from from 100,000 tests per week to 175,000.

He said testing is being priorised for those who are symptomatic and close contacts are being asked to restrict movements.

Mr Reid said GPs are swamped and are doing a phenomenal job. There are some centres, he said, that have a 50% positivity rate.

He said it is not possible to test everyone who wants to be tested but it is possible to test those who are coming forward with symptoms.

Mr Reid said the Government will make decisions based on information from a wide range of experts and other sources.

Latest coronavirus stories

There are 744 positive cases of Covid-19 in hospitals, HSE Chief Executive @PaulReiddublin tells @boucherhayes, adding that this is rising by 20% per day. There are 65 patients with Covid-19 being treated in intensive care units | Read more:

The number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 has increased to 744, according to the latest official figures.

It represents an increase on the figure of 673 patients reported around this time yesterday.

In the last 24 hours, there have been 51 further admissions to hospital of Covid-19 cases.

The largest number of patients recorded in hospital with Covid-19 during the pandemic here was 881, reported on 15 April last year.

The number of patients in ICU today is 65, current figures show.


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