Public need 'immediate reduction' in risky activities, Reid warns

The warning came as Covid cases and hospital numbers continue to soar, with the number of people in intensive care units now over 100.
Public need 'immediate reduction' in risky activities, Reid warns

James Ward, PA

The head of the HSE has called for an “immediate reduction” in risky activities by the public, as the number of patients in intensive care with Covid-19 passed 100.

On Saturday there were 556 patients in hospital, with 250 people receiving respiratory supports and 107 in ICU, along with an additional 4,642 cases of the virus.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid has urged the public to be vigilant to arrest the high levels of community transmission.

He tweeted: “The virus is now prolific in most communities & nobody wants to be the next hospitalised case.

“An immediate reduction by all of us of risk activities is needed to turn this around.”

The warning follows one of the highest ever daily totals of Covid cases in Ireland on Friday, with 5,483 new cases.

The chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan urged people to think about the number of contacts they have in the coming weeks.

He said: “It’s not about one single thing that you do, it’s about the combination of all of those, each of them is necessary.

“So wearing masks, social distancing, staying away from crowds, behaving appropriately if you have symptoms, recognising risk and thinking ahead about the contacts that you encounter over the course of the forthcoming week or two weeks.

“A simple message in that regard would be if you’re planning and thinking ahead over the next week, two weeks, think particularly about your discretionary contacts.

“Going out socialising, having people to your house – think about those things and cut them in half.

“If you’re thinking of going out to the pub, maybe two nights of the week, perhaps just go out once.

“If you’re thinking about having 10 people over to your house, maybe just have five people coming over to the house.

“And if you’re thinking about risky activities and high-risk activities, it is possible for you to do them, but it’s really important that you follow all the basic public health guidance in place in those sectors, as well as the guidance that protects you as an individual.

“And if you have been out and involved in high-risk activities, think about the vulnerable people in your own family, your own loved ones.

“It’s important, perhaps, to space out those kinds of activities if you’re having planned visits to vulnerable people.”

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