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Rising toll Numbers of pregnant women being admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 rises

'Intensive care admissions are prolonged for both mothers and babies. Pregnant women are not at higher risk of contracting the virus but those that develop symptoms have a higher chance of hospitalisation'

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The Mater Hospital was treating the highest number of cases

The Mater Hospital was treating the highest number of cases

The Mater Hospital was treating the highest number of cases

Most acute hospitals had at least one seriously ill patient with Covid-19 in intensive care yesterday.

The Mater Hospital in Dublin was treating the highest number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care followed by Galway University Hospital, St James's and Beaumont, both Dublin, Mayo University Hospital and Cork University Hospital. There was a large rise in hospitalisations of Covid-19 patients yesterday - up to 323 from 307 in 24 hours.

Of these, 55 patients were in intensive care, an increase of one over the previous day.

Doctors are warning of a time lag between the high daily counts of the virus and hospitalisations, which usually follow later. The daily toll of new virus cases rose to 2,051 yesterday - figures more on par with late January.

"An increased number of pregnant women have been admitted to intensive care in Ireland in the last six weeks and some have required emergency premature delivery," Dr Cliona Murphy, of the Coombe Hospital and chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said.

"Intensive care admissions are prolonged for both mothers and babies. Pregnant women are not at higher risk of contracting the virus but those that develop symptoms have a higher chance of hospitalisation and needing intensive care. The adverse effects of Covid-19 in the second and third trimester can be reduced by vaccination.

"Vaccine effectiveness and safety in pregnancy has been established with no increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or growth restriction.

"Couples trying to conceive should avail of vaccination first. Vaccines do not impact fertility. Having the vaccine is also safe for breastfeeding mothers."

As of yesterday some 83.6pc of people over the age of 16 here were fully vaccinated.

However, a higher level of full protection will be needed by mid to late September when it is hoped the current wave will peak and the Government's roadmap may allow for the start of a significant easing of restrictions.

There has been a total of 5,092 deaths, a rise since 5,044 fatalities notified on August 4.

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"While we have increasing levels of vaccination across the population, we continue to have significant concerns over the Delta variant and the increase in the incidence of disease across a range of factors," chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said.

"Unfortunately, this variant is still circulating widely.

"Over 70pc of cases are in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people and we are seeing a high incidence of Covid-19 in adults and teenagers aged 16-29.

"We know that vaccines work. They are about 80pc effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 disease and they provide approximately 95pc protection against hospitalisation.

"It is very important that we remain vigilant and follow the public health measures.

"This is especially important for anyone who is soon to return to school and college."

He urged the public to continue to wear masks, wash their hands properly and often, maintain a social distance, manage their contacts and avoid crowds.

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