DUBLIN- The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Ireland has jumped by about 45 percent over the last two weeks, putting a huge pressure on the local public healthcare system, reported Irish national radio and television broadcaster RTE on Monday.
The report quoted figures from the Department of Health as saying that there were 484 COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals across the country as of 8 a.m. on Monday (local time), up over 45 percent compared to 333 people being treated in hospitals on Monday two weeks ago.
Of all the COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals, 73 were in intensive care units (ICU), said the report.
The Health Service Executive, a state agency responsible for public health service in Ireland, said in a Sunday night update that there were only 11 adult ICU beds left available in government-run hospitals along with one paediatric ICU bed.
The “shocking and disappointing” rise in hospitalisations and ICU admissions as a result of COVID-19 is disrupting regular hospital services in the country, leaving no hospital beds for many non-COVID-19 patients, the report quoted a local doctor as saying.
According to the report, the Irish government on Tuesday will convene a meeting to decide whether they will go ahead with a previously announced plan to lift the remaining COVID-19 restrictions in the country on Friday.
Under the original plan, the government intends to remove nearly all the restrictions including requirement of social distancing.
Only mandatory wearing of masks in healthcare and indoor retail settings as well as on public transport will remain in place, according to the plan.
Earlier last week, facing the rising COVID-19 cases in the country, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin told local media that there will be no guarantee that the lifting of the remaining restrictions scheduled on Friday will go as planned.
Many professionals and officials in the country’s healthcare sector have called for continuation of social distancing in society and continued use of vaccination certificates in the hospitality sector.
The Irish Department of Health on Monday reported 1,578 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The five-day moving average in the country is 1,736, said the department in a statement.