Covid-19 hospital numbers fall to lowest in three months

There are currently 290 people receiving treatment
Covid-19 hospital numbers fall to lowest in three months

The number of people in public hospitals with Covid-19 has dropped to the lowest level in three months.

There are currently 290 people receiving treatment, representing a drop of 20 in the past 24 hours.

There are 65 people in intensive care, which is the lowest number since January 3rd.

It comes as 368 new cases and 14 deaths were confirmed on Tuesday.

Professor Emer Shelley from the Royal College of Physicians told Newstalk radio that getting hospital numbers to drop further will be very challenging.

“As long as the case numbers stay as static as they are, it’s difficult to see the hospital numbers going down much more,” she said.

Prof Shelley added that people still need to be cautious, despite falling hospital admissions.

“The lower hospital numbers are certainly very, very welcome. They reflect the vaccination programme in the oldest age groups, but we have to remember that the case numbers are still high,” she said.

“More and more now we’ll be looking at that, because while younger people don’t get so sick and don’t end up in hospital, they can have long-term consequences from getting sick with Covid-19 — so still a reason to be very cautious.”

Lockdown easing

It comes as the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has warned the Government that Covid-19 cases could increase to 2,000 a day within a period of four weeks.

In a letter to the Minister for Health on Monday night, Nphet warned that current infection levels are twice the level they were when restrictions were eased at Christmas, and “50 times that in late June 2020” as the country emerged from its first lockdown.

The Government has agreed to ease lockdown restrictions in the State from April 12th, with a current five-day average of more than 600 daily cases.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressed the nation on Tuesday evening, outlining what freedoms people can expect to return from next month and the roadmap beyond that.

“We are on the final stretch of this terrible journey,” he said.

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