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Ireland is “beginning to turn a corner” tackling Covid-19 says NPHET

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of NPHET's modelling advisory group, says there may be stabilisation in the case numbers

NPHET believe the country is “beginning to turn a corner” in tackling the current wave of Covid-19 – but that hospitals will remain under threat in the weeks ahead.

1 in 76 people across the country has tested positive for the disease in the past two weeks.

Overnight there were 1,620 patients in hospital with the virus and 144 in intensive care.

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of NPHET’s modelling advisory group, says there may be stabilisation in the case numbers.

“We’re beginning to see early signs of an improvement of the situation, but that improvement is from such a high level of disease that our health services remain very much under strain and very much under threat and will do so for the coming weeks” said professor Nolan.

As of Tuesday morning, thirteen intensive care units nationally are full, while there are 30 adult ICU beds available.

1,700 people with Covid-19 are being treated in Irish hospitals including 144 patients in ICU.

The HSE says it has the ability to create more ICU beds through surge capacity and via the private hospitals.

However, the HSE says there won’t be scenes in Ireland similar to Italy in March when the health system there was overwhelmed.

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Meanwhile Northern Ireland Ministers are to receive an update on the situation involving hospitals there – when it meets later.

It comes after the First Minister denied suggestions the pressure facing hospitals is a result of restrictions being relaxed for Christmas.

Arlene Foster warned that the UK’s NHS will not benefit from falling case numbers for a number of weeks.

She also suggested the powersharing executive may have to consider introducing another curfew – if the current lockdown measures fail to supress the virus sufficiently.

However Mrs Foster says the executive’s decision to allow Christmas bubbles is not the sole cause of the current crisis.