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More than 700 in Irish hospitals with Covid as cases rise after Christmas

The Health Service Executive (HSE) reported that as of 8am Tuesday morning, there were 703 confirmed cases of the virus in Irish hospitals.

The HSE has previously found that hospital patients were not eating up to half the meals prepared for them. Stock image© Getty Images

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

More than 700 people are in hospital with Covid across Ireland today.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) reported that as of 8am Tuesday morning, there were 703 confirmed cases of the virus in Irish hospitals.

Today’s figures show an increase of 47 more patients than St Stephen's Day, where 656 people were confirmed to be in hospital with Covid-19.

On December 23, there were 667 cases of the virus in hospitals around the country.

Thirty-two people are currently being treated in intensive care, an increase of three compared to yesterday’s figures.

It comes amid concern that socialising over the Christmas period would lead to a rise in cases.

In the lead up to the festive period, Chief Medical Officer Breda Smyth appealed to people to stay at home and avoid meeting family members if they had flu-like symptoms.

She said that she was “very concerned” about the surge in cases before Christmas as she asked people to get vaccinated if they have not already done so.

“I am concerned because even though we have a certain level of protection within our population because of the success of our vaccination programme, it is still circulating, and we still have vulnerable populations within our community,” Professor Smyth said.

“It’s fantastic to see everybody out and about and to see a normal Christmas and to see people having their Christmas parties – and that’s normal. And that’s the way we want our society to be, an open, free-moving society.

“That is very important that we realise that Covid is still there, it’s still giving rise to significant illness.”

She continued: “I think if people can give a concerted effort over the next four to six weeks to try and protect ourselves from getting sick, protecting our vulnerable loved ones – be it our family or extended family.

“Also (to protect) our health system from actually been able to traverse through this really challenging period, which is always challenging with flu colds circulating as well, we’re seeing RSV colds circulating in high numbers, particularly in our children.

“If people have symptoms, it’s really important to stay home. So stay home from work or school or that party unfortunately, and because the transmission rate is much higher if you are symptomatic.”

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