Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid has said there are now 2,023 patients with Covid-19 being treated in hospitals around the country, with over 400 people receiving “high grade” ventilation and respiratory support.

In a tweet, Mr Reid said the HSE’s national critical care surge plans have been activated and health care staff are “working really hard to remain in control.”

2,023 patients are now in hospital with #COVID19. Over 400 are receiving high grade ventillation & respiratory support inside & outside of ICU. Our national critical care surge plans are activated. Were working really hard to remain in control. Your help counts. @HSELive

The Chief Medical Officer has described the situation in the country’s hospitals as “stark” and said people should not go into work this week if they can work from home.

He called on employers to facilitate employees to work remotely.

Yesterday, the Department of Health reported 13 additional deaths due to Covid-19.

It also reported 2,944 new cases, which was a slight decrease on previous days.

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Dr Tony Holohan said that the levels of infection are such “that your chances of transmitting or getting Covid-19 are very high, and we know that a proportion of those cases will lead to serious illness and mortality.”

The intensive care unit at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda has moved to its second stage of a surge plan, where non-Covid patients are being managed in the hospital’s coronary care unit.

Respiratory consultant Dr Ian Counihan said there are currently ten patients in ICU – including eight with Covid-19 and there is capacity for up to 24 ventilated patients.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said there is a large group of younger people being admitted with Covid-19 and the hospital has treated people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, some of whom needed oxygen.

He said that in the last week there has also been an increase in the number of patients aged over 70.

Meanwhile, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has considered the deaths of 23 frail elderly people in Norway following the administration of a Covid-19 vaccine.

In a report, the Norwegian Medicines Agency said “common adverse reactions to mRNA vaccines, such as fever and nausea, may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some frail patients”.

The NIAC noted that this did not imply that the vaccine caused the deaths.

It said vaccination offers the best opportunity to protect people in residential care, but added that assessment of risk should be carried out in certain patients to take account of the timescale of the response to the vaccine.

The NIAC said it is not appropriate to vaccinate people if their expected duration of life is less than the length it takes for the vaccine to take effect.

In an email to clinicians, seen by RTÉ News, HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said the NIAC has reviewed the available information and has advised that “the vaccination roll-out should continue as planned”.

The HSE said in a statement last night that to date, over ten million Covid-19 vaccines have now been distributed globally.

It said: “It is important to note that fatalities will occur from natural causes or background illnesses, and will continue to do so, during any vaccination campaign.”

Source:
https://www.rte.ie/news/2021/0118/1190369-coronavirus-ireland/

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