Health officials said an additional 21,384 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Ireland today.
About 984 people are hospitalized with the virus – an increase of 67 from yesterday – of which 83 are in the ICU, a number unchanged.
Today’s figures come out as HSE director Paul Reid said the health system is still under strain during the Omicron wave.
He tweeted: “Our health service is under strain. But there is always room for optimism.
“Enhanced vaccines are providing better protection. Community action is mitigating the impact.
“ICU cases are stabilizing. The evidence is less severe but 984 people are hospitalized. No one is hospitalized for mild illness.”
The warning came a day after a top NPHET doctor said there was “foundation for optimism” that restrictions would be lifted soon and that the Omicron variant was less impact on Irish hospitals.
Dr Mary Favier said that she did not have to transfer any of her patients at her hospital to the hospital that was suffering from the new variant.
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She told Brendan O’Connor on RTE Radio: “I never thought I would be talking about the highest cases ever. Covid and there’s some optimism that we’re managing and we’re overcoming it. “
Dr Favier, who is also a Covid advisor to the College of General Practitioners of Ireland, said that although the virus hit families this Christmas, they found that “no one was really sick. Sick”.
“In my practice, we haven’t sent anyone to the hospital and haven’t even had to look at it so that’s the basis for optimism,” she said.
Meanwhile, an HSE-positive antigen test registration system is expected to launch next week.
CEO Paul Reid has said that HSE is working on a system that will allow people to register their positive antigen test results
He told Newstalk’s On The Record: “We had to develop a new integration system, if you look at our end to end system, which is built on top of PCR tests and that ranges from integrating the GP system with our appointment booking system to testing centers to the lab to contacting our registry of positive cases each day.
“It’s essentially the whole system integrated around PCR.
“What we’ve done now, we just finalized the design and tested it this week, is build an equivalent roadmap for antigen testing to be able to register for that test.
“The system will be ready during the course of next week, we will put it live so people can sign up for their tests.”
HSE director said the new system is being implemented through working process with NPHET, CMO and Ministry of Health.
Reid continued: “We are working very closely with NPHET, we are working very closely with the CMO and we are working with the Department of Health on this process.
“We want to have a system in place first, issues then revolve around policy decisions or public health guidelines about what counts, if confirmed PCR testing is needed, if people close contact with confirmed positive antigen tests, how it works.
“All of these are issues that we’ve been working on this week very closely with the Department’s CMO.
“It’s public health and policy guidance, we want to make sure we have the systems in place to do that, and we also have a supply of antigen testing that I’m happy to say. We made sure.”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8177888/covid-ireland-cases-hse-health-service-strain/ Covid-19 Ireland – 21,384 new cases confirmed as HSE boss warns health service is still under strain