Cabins have been installed at a busy Cork hospital in a bid to expand emergency department capacity as part of preparations to combat Covid-19 this winter.
The new cabins erected at Mercy University Hospital (MUH), have been installed on concrete plinths on Grenville Place, and will provide an additional 200sqm of accommodation.
Hospital management said the cabins, which replaced temporary tents which were erected by the Defence Forces during lockdown, will be operational by mid-October.
“This accommodation will offer additional clinical capacity for the Emergency Department by way of providing additional waiting areas, triage rooms and assessment/treatment cubicles. These structures will be operational by mid-October,” said a spokesperson for the hospital.
“It is expected that this development will improve patient experience in the Emergency Department and assist the hospital with its Covid-19 response over the winter period.” MUH took delivery of the cabins last Friday night, with a comprehensive traffic management plan in place during installation and the Emergency Department remained open.
The cabins come amid a sharp increase in the number of people with Covid-19 who are being treated in hospital.
Data from the Department of Health shows that on September 15th, 55 people with Covid-19 were being treated at hospitals around Ireland.
The figure is a significant drop from April 15th when 856 people were hospitalised, however, it is also a notable jump on last month - thirteen people with Covid-19 were hospitalised on August 11th.
According to the latest HSE Operations update, on Wednesday night 73 people with confirmed Covid-19 were receiving hospital care around the country, including four people in Cork.
Of the 73 confirmed cases in hospitals, 12 people tested positive for Covid-19 over the past 24 hours.
In Cork, three people with confirmed Covid-19 were being cared for at the Mercy University Hospital last night and one person with confirmed Covid-19 was being treated at Cork University Hospital.
Two of these individuals tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours.
A total of 106 people with suspected Covid-19 were being treated at hospitals around the country, including seven people at the Mercy University Hospital and one person at Cork University Hospital.
Fourteen people with confirmed Covid-19 were being treated at critical care units around Ireland including one person who was being cared for at the Mercy University Hospital.
Last night, Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE and Cork consultant voiced concern over the “sharp increase” in the rate of admissions of Covid-19 patients into acute hospitals.
“We know that without a reversal of these trends, admissions can escalate rapidly to the point where our healthcare facilities will be under unsustainable pressure. It is more essential than ever that we all adhere to the basic measures which can weaken the virus in the community,” he said.