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Hospital hell Highest Covid-19 hospital numbers in 14 months as 1,569 patients ill with virus

Roughly half of all current Covid cases in hospitals are not due to the virus, but positive cases in people who are in hospital to be treated for another ailment.

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Stock image. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Stock image. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Stock image. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA

There are 1,569 people in hospital with Covid-19 this afternoon, the highest figure in 14 months, latest Department of Health figures show.

There were 221 newly-diagnosed hospital cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours in Irish hospitals, which brings the number of new cases in hospital in the past three days close to 700.

The number of people in ICU with the virus is remaining steady at 52, an increase of one in the past day.

Officials in recent days have stressed that roughly half of all current Covid cases in hospitals are not due to the virus, but positive cases in people who are in hospital to be treated for another ailment.

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Hospitals currently have the most Covid patients in them at 1,569 since January 2021.

Hospitals currently have the most Covid patients in them at 1,569 since January 2021.

Hospitals currently have the most Covid patients in them at 1,569 since January 2021.

Overcrowding and infection control measures are seeing hospitals being pushed to breaking point with many forced to cancel elective surgeries and appointments for patients in need of non-emergency care due to the burden on the healthcare system.

Hospitals are now seeing close to 500 or more people on trolleys nationwide every day and it’s leading to an “unsafe” environment, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said.

“We’re very concerned about the general view that the pandemic no longer exists but in Irish hospitals it most certainly is an extraordinary battle on a daily basis.

“Figures and outbreak incidences are way too high.

“It’s unsafe for staff so it’s most certainly unsafe for patients.

“We’ve got outbreaks right across our society that are spilling into our hospitals and the reason this is so important is because our hospitals don’t have capacity before we even start [with Covid outbreaks],” Ms Ní Sheaghdha said on RTÉ’s News at One.

Government policy around Covid-19 appears to be to “let it spread” across the country, infectious diseases consultant, Dr Clíona Ní Cheallaigh said.

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Dr Ní Cheallaigh said we’re not “doing anything about our indoor spaces” and said there’s so much virus around it’s “Covid soup out there”.

“We’re lucky the current variant is much milder and most people are vaccinated so not getting severely unwell but there’s a lot of virus around. I’m just going to reiterate that if you don’t want to get it, wear a mask as it’s Covid soup out there,” Dr Ní Cheallaigh told Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ Radio this morning.

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