88 patients currently in ICU as HSE plans for mid-April Covid-19 peak 2 months ago

88 patients currently in ICU as HSE plans for mid-April Covid-19 peak

The latest from the Health Service Executive of Ireland as of Sunday morning.

88 patients are currently in intensive care in Ireland's hospitals as of Sunday 29 March, according to an update provided by the Health Service Executive.

167 critical care beds are still available in the public system, according to HSE Chief Operations Officer Anne O'Connor.

O'Connor noted that over 33,000 people have been tested since Monday 16 March with 16,000 referred "since the change in criteria" in the week before last. The HSE is working at a rate of 5,000 tests per day.

Regarding when Covid-19 cases are expected to peak in Ireland, O'Connor stated that this is not yet known but that the HSE is planning towards the middle of April, specifically between the 10th and 14th.

“A peak will come and go but we will continue to be very busy with a large number of people availing of our services," O'Connor added.

"We are not currently at our peak," said HSE CEO Paul Reid in his remarks at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, which is set to be turned into a temporary Covid-19 isolation and overflow step-down facility.

750 beds will be made available for isolation purposes, separate to 450 beds for the step-down facility which is reserved for cases of overflow from the hospital system.

"It is a facility that we hope not to use," Reid said in referring to the step-down facility.

"Our primary area of treatment for people in need will be in our hospitals, however we are very conscious of the experiences all over the world - we have to plan for the worst-case scenario. That's exactly what we are doing here."

Reid noted that a "very significant" order of personal protective equipment from overseas is set to arrive in Dublin on Sunday and will be distributed to HSE staff in the coming days.

“Our hospital and healthcare system will be under very significant pressure in coming weeks," said Reid. "We urge the public to support healthcare workers during this time. It’s a difficult period for them.”

You can watch the full briefing from the HSE below.