A hospital by hospital breakdown of covid-19 patients in Cork has revealed there were 31 confirmed cases onsite at CUH and 20 in The Mercy last night.
The latest data has laid bare the scale of coronavirus in acute hospitals across the country.
It revealed that 144 people with COVID-19 were in critical care units in Ireland, including ten patients in Cork.
Six of these patients were at CUH, three were at the Mercy University Hospital and one person was at the Bon Secours Hospital.
In addition, more than 300 patients are in hospitals in Ireland with a "suspected diagnosis" of COVID-19, including 12 patients in Cork - seven at the Mercy and five at CUH.
Nationally, 2,191 general beds were vacant yesterday in acute hospitals, including 121 beds at CUH and 57 at the Mercy.
However, only 135 critical care beds were vacant, including eight at the Bon Secours hospital, five at CUH and one at the Mercy.
Cork consultant Dr Corinna Sadlier explained that those admitted to Intensive Care Units are staying there for some time.
Each of these patients has 24-hour care from a team of nurses.
The recovery after a stay in ICU can also be intensive.
“Even for younger patients, they may need physiotherapy afterward,” Dr Sadlier said.
She highlighted the case of one patient, in his 40s, who had been admitted to intensive care, and had recently been discharged.
“We can’t take anything for granted.
"He was a young fit man and he was critically ill in ICU. That could be any of us. People can go either way in ICU. It’s a very frightening infection,” she said.
Dr Sadlier pointed out that while the number of people in CUH with COVID-19 was increasing, and new patients were being admitted, others were also being discharged.
Meanwhile, despite the many difficulties hospitals around the world are facing amid the pandemic, Dr Sadlier said that CUH was “coping well”.
She acknowledged issues around personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers in general, but said management at CUH was going “above and beyond” to provide PPE and training to staff and were very transparent around supplies which she said is reassuring for staff.
“It’s reiterated every day, the focus on training and PPE,” she said.
From a capacity perspective, Dr Sadlier said CUH also had beds, and isolation rooms, and was well staffed.
She stressed that everyone in the hospital was involved in the response to the pandemic, but paid particular tribute to the cleaners and housekeeping staff at CUH who she said were carrying out vital work.
“Some are working additional hours and days. There’s a huge amount of extra work being done,” she said.
Dr Sadlier said there were promising signs that patients were coming to the hospital again with non-COVID-19 related issues.
Concerns had been voiced in recent weeks over a decrease in the number of patients presenting to emergency departments.
Dr Sadlier stressed that there were different paths for people with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related illnesses, and said people should come to the hospital if they need to.
“There were concerns that footfall was down but this is increasing. We are now looking at mechanisms to do important surgeries and to get people through the system safely,” she said.
The Cork consultant said she believed that people in Cork were taking the infection, and the measures brought in to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, very seriously.
She pointed out that there was “no big jump in numbers” here but instead a steady increase.
”We think it is down to physical distancing here, maybe population density, it’s hard to explain how we are doing so well,” she said.