'Level of Concern' | 

HSE boss Paul Reid says 'no indication' that Omicron has peaked

Yesterday, the Department of Health reported a further 16,986 cases of Covid-19.
Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE (Brian Lawless/PA)

Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE (Brian Lawless/PA)

Neasa Cumiskey

There has been “no indication” that the country has reached the peak of the Omicron wave, HSE chief Paul Reid has said.

Yesterday, the Department of Health reported a further 16,986 cases of Covid-19.

As of 8am this morning, 884 people are in hospital with Covid-19, 80 more than the day before yesterday.

The number of patients with the virus today in ICU is at 90, down three from yesterday.

However, despite daily cases reaching more than 23,000 earlier this week, HSE CEO Paul Reid has said that he expects figures to be higher again over the next few days.

He said: “We have no indications that we are at the peak of this just yet ...that's not what we're all experiencing, what we're seeing in the community. It's not what we're seeing in the daily case numbers.

“We do know, we've put extra capacity in our PCR testing overall and antigen testing, and we do know the significant draw on that. There's no indication that we are at a peak just yet.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid

HSE chief executive Paul Reid

“Nobody wants to end up in hospital with Covid. It’s the force of cases, certainly early indications, which we should take some level of comfort from, is the level of severity is not as strong but again we would rather see over the next week what transmits from those cases now to ICU to have a clearer picture on that.”

Mr Reid added that steps are being taken to ensure that hospitals are not put under the same pressure as last year.

“The numbers of escalation certainly in the last few days have been a real level of concern,” he said.

“Thankfully, we haven’t seen that transmit into ICU and talking to our lead ICU consultants yesterday, primarily what they are dealing with at the moment are Delta related, long-term cases but we still don’t know that kind of lag effect between those sharp rise in hospitalisations and if that severity transmits into ICU.


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