Hospital admissions surpass first wave as new restrictions to be announced today 

Hospital admissions surpass first wave as new restrictions to be announced today 

The head of the Health Service Executive has said the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has surpassed the peak of the first wave.

The head of the Health Service Executive has said the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has surpassed the peak of the first wave.

The highest number of patients with the virus in hospital was 881 on April 15.

Paul Reid tweeted: "With 921 people in hospital, we've now exceeded the peak level of the 1st wave (881). 75 in ICU.

"Healthy people are getting very sick.

"Everyone gets how serious this is now.

"Let's all do what's needed, turn this around, save lives whilst the vaccine arrives. We have to."

A decision is expected to be made today to keep schools closed for the remainder of January.

A full Cabinet meeting will take place to discuss the issue amid the backdrop of rising coronavirus cases, and admissions to hospitals. 

Tuesday brought 17 further deaths linked to Covid-19 and an additional 5,325 confirmed cases, with 767 new cases reported in Cork.

The Taoiseach has said he agrees with the chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan that there is “an issue” with having more than a million people “on the go” if schools reopen as planned, and said that the closure of schools until at least the end of the month may be necessary in order to combat the rapid spread of the virus.

Dr Holohan said that if people stick to public health guidelines “we can turn this around quickly”.

Meanwhile, people arriving in Ireland will be required to provide negative Covid-19 tests under proposals to be considered by Cabinet.

The closure of construction sites, apart from essential projects, is also being considered.

Creches are also expected to close but will be available for children of essential workers.

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