Health system will come under stress 'like we have never seen before' 

Health system will come under stress 'like we have never seen before' 
 A hospital worker talks to members of the public who have arrived at Dunmanway Community Hospital for a COVID-19 test. Photo: Andy Gibson.

THE chief executive of the HSE has warned that the health system will come under stress "like we have never seen before" as the Covid-19 crisis deepens.

Ireland has recorded two more deaths among people who tested positive for Covid-19. They were males in the east of the country.

There have been six fatalities related to the infection in the Republic, the Department of Health said. The total number of confirmed cases is 1,125.

On Tuesday, Paul Reid tweeted: "Soon, our health system will be under stress like we have never seen before. We've been preparing 24 x 7. This involves using hotels, temporary & private hospitals & other locations. The less sick wont need a hospital. We do care, so please stick with us."

The Cabinet will meet on Tuesday morning to consider updated recommendations on tackling Covid-19 from the National Public Health Emergency Team.

On Monday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said while some members of the public had not been complying with social distancing measures, he would not bow to political pressure to tighten restrictions and would only act on expert advice.

He has been facing calls from the leaders of opposition political parties to tighten restrictions.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald called for all non-essential businesses to close while Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said more "severe restrictions" need to be imposed on the public when it comes to social distancing.

The current measures, which include the closure of schools and colleges, creches and pubs, are due to expire on March 29 but may be extended.

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