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Covid-19: Virus to peak here in mid-April

Call for people to maintain social distance

The spread of the Covid19 in Ireland is to peak in mid-April, according to Dr Sarah Doyle, consultant in Public Health Medicine with the HSE.

Dr Sarah Doyle gave the information during a virtual press conference earlier, along with a number of senior HSE team members.

A peak would come and go, she said, and Ireland would continue to have a high number of people availing of services once that peak has passed. The peak would occur between April 10 and 14.

Speaking at the press conference, HSE CEO Paul Reid said that the first order of personal protective equipment (PPE) was due to land today on an Aer Lingus flight from China. Distribution of the PPE would start tonight.

He added that people had been focused on maintaining social distance and there were encouraging signs that this was working.

The health system and hospital system in particular would be under massive pressure in the coming weeks.

He added that Ireland was competing with other countries for PPE and that this country had spent €30 million on it since January.

Reid said more than 1,400 people had been trained to complete contact tracing and up to 4,000 people would be trained over the coming weeks.

The press conference was delivered from Citywest in Dublin which is to become a temporary location for isolation and for step down care.

The centre would provide 750 bedrooms to support those who are asymptomatic. It would also provide care for those who have mild symptoms but have not been tested and people who have tested positive but who cannot self-isolate at home.

A second Citywest facility would accommodate around 450 people in an overflow capacity, if full capacity in acute services was reached.

Large facilities across the country would also be operating in a similar fashion.

The finalisation of plans to secure almost 2000 private hospital beds, 100 critical cares beds, 200 ventilators, and also the staff and resources was also underway.

Almost 500 private consultants would also be available to work in the public system.

Thanks to the recruitment call for more staff, 66,500 people had applied through the ‘OnCall for Ireland’ process.

HSE Chief Operations Officer Anne O’Connor said there was a decrease in the number of people attending emergency departments, but those seeking emergency care needed to seek help.

At present, there were 88 people in intensive care units, mostly in Dublin. ICU capacity had not been reached.

There were more than 2,100 acute beds available in the system and 167 critical care beds.



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