Declining Covid hospitalisations put Ireland in ‘strong position’ for bank holiday

HSE chief Paul Reid has urged the public to 'keep their guard up' as they enjoy the bank holiday weekend
Declining Covid hospitalisations put Ireland in ‘strong position’ for bank holiday

Covid-19 hospital numbers are continuing to drop, leaving Ireland in a “strong position” as it enters the bank holiday weekend, according to the head of the health service.

Chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, urged the public to “keep their guard up” as they enjoy the weekend.

As the country prepares to ease further restrictions on Monday with the return of outdoor dining, concerns remain over large gatherings in city centres.

“Notwithstanding some challenges, we head into the bank holiday weekend in a really strong position,” Mr Reid said on Twitter.

“Covid-19 patients in hospital are now down to 70 with 28 of those in ICU.

“We’ve achieved too much to let it slip now. Enjoy the weekend and let’s keep our guard up.”

A further 529 cases of the virus were confirmed on Friday evening.

The number of Covid patients in intensive care is meanwhile the lowest figure seen this year.

However, it comes amid concerns over the rate of infection in Limerick.

Public health officials have confirmed that almost 900 cases have been reported in the county in the last two weeks.

Limerick has a 14-day incidence rate of 425 per 100,000 population.

Indoor gatherings, including household visits and house parties, are understood to have had a serious knock-on effect in schools and workplaces and have led to the temporary closure of businesses and schools.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan ruled out a local lockdown following a meeting with health officials and Limerick politicians on Friday, subject to infection rates stabilising.

A “small number” of Leaving Cert students in the county are set to miss their exams next week as a result of either being a confirmed Covid-19 case or a close contact.

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