Covid Ireland: 12,508 new cases as Leo Varadkar says current wave is expected to peak in the next two weeks


A further 12,508 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed today as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar predicted Ireland will weather the current wave of infections in two weeks.

The Health Protection Surveillance Center was informed today of 5,381 PCR-confirmed cases and 7,127 positive antigen tests registered by the public through the HSE portal.

There are currently 1,610 patients with Covid-19 in Irish hospitals, up from nine on Tuesday. About half of those cases are in hospitals for some other reason and happen to be positive, health officials said.

There are currently 49 people in intensive care and around 20 of those patients are on ventilators. Mr Varadkar said this wave of cases was “very different” from previous waves of infections.

The Tánaiste said he would “not characterize” the government’s response to this wave as “letting it rip” as it is not reimposing restrictions.

“I wouldn’t characterize it that way. What we are witnessing is a very serious second wave of Omicron, largely driven by a very transferrable sub-variant. But remember, from day one our goal has been to prevent deaths and not to overwhelm our health service.

“Fortunately, we are not currently seeing very high deaths or high ICU numbers during this wave – that is the crux of the matter. Today there are about 49 in the intensive care unit, of which only about 20 are ventilated. So this is a very different wave than what we have experienced before.

“We do not think it is appropriate to impose new legal restrictions on society and the economy. We believe it will peak in the next two weeks and we will certainly be in a better position by the end of April. The focus now must be on vaccines, encouraging people to isolate when sick, wearing masks indoors, ventilating, going outdoors and continuing to increase our healthcare capacity,” Mr Varadkar said on RTÉs News at One.

Representatives of nurses and doctors working in emergency departments will hold a press conference on Thursday morning in a joint call for the government to take action against the rising number of Covid cases in Irish hospitals.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization and Irish Association for Emergency Medicine have said hospitals are overwhelmed, wards are overcrowded and “staff need real help”.

Many hospital groups have canceled or restricted indicative, non-emergency care to deal with the burden of increased admissions to emergency departments combined with the burden of infection and prevention controls due to the increasing presence of Covid-19 in hospitals. Covid Ireland: 12,508 new cases as Leo Varadkar says current wave is expected to peak in the next two weeks

Fry Electronics Team

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