Covid numbers in hospital at lowest point in over 200 days

There are currently 136 Covid-19 patients in Irish hospitals, which is the lowest number in months
Covid numbers in hospital at lowest point in over 200 days

James Cox

The number of Covid-19 patients in public hospitals has fallen by 21 per cent in the past week.

The figure fell significantly last night to 136 — the lowest in more than 200 days.

The five-day average of cases is now 426.

Government announced a significant easing of Covid restrictions last night with key dates on May 10th, 17th, June 2nd and June 7th.

They will see hairdressers and personal services reopen along with the return of hotels and outdoor services at pubs and restaurants.

However, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the Government would not be afraid to intervene and change the plan for easing Covid restrictions if worrying trends emerge.

He said he was hopeful the plan to reopen society throughout May and June could happen without interruption.

“I’m hopeful, I believe that we can reopen safely, we’re in a good space, we will not be afraid to intervene if necessary,” he said.

The reopening plans included strong sectoral guidance, but Mr Martin said that individual and collective behaviour were key to the success of the plan, which the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) had categorised as low to medium risk.

Meanwhile, the head of the HSE is warning that the easing of restrictions needs to be balanced with a huge level of caution.

Vaccination

He says the vaccine programme has helped break the chain of transmission and eased the pressure on the hospital system.

HSE CEO Paul Reid is urging people to keep abiding by the public health measures.

Mr Reid said: “I'm satisfied in terms of the announcement yesterday to give the nation a lift. We've obviously balanced that with a huge level of caution for everybody to keep working on the public health measures and we will be in a much stronger place, we're getting great momentum on the vaccination programme now too.”

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