Covid-19: hospital cases rise sharply over three weeks

Number of hospital cases increases by 74 per cent to 405 confirmed infections since September 14th

There are 405 confirmed cases of Covid-19 cases in hospital after an increase of 74 per cent over the past three weeks, the State’s new chief medical officer has said.

In a statement offering public health advice, Dr Breda Smyth urged people to “stay well by being prepared for winter” amid an increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in the community.

There have been an average of 60 new Covid-19 hospitalisations per day recorded over the last seven days with a 23 per cent increase in the number of hospital cases since 329 last week. This figure stood at 233 cases three weeks ago.

“Not all Covid-19 cases in hospital have been admitted due to their infection, but every additional Covid-positive patient adds to the strain on our hospital system as we enter what is expected to be an extremely busy period,” said Dr Smyth.


As of September 27th, about 70 per cent of cases of hospitalised for Covid-19 were people aged 65 years and older. Of these, more than one in four had not completed their primary two-dose Covid-19 vaccine course and about two in five had not yet received a booster dose.

“The scientific data tells us that the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines wanes over time. It is important to keep up to date with your vaccine schedule and make sure to receive a booster dose as soon as you are eligible,” said Dr Smyth.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced the appointment of Dr Smyth as the new chief medical officer at the Department of Health. Dr Smyth has served in the position in an acting capacity since July when she took over as interim chief medical officer following Dr Tony Holohan’s retirement after 14 years in the role.

Amid concerns about the impact of a rise in Covid-19 cases coinciding with a challenging flu season, the HSE has begun to administer Covid-19 booster vaccines and flu vaccines.

The public health advice remains that if people have symptoms of Covid-19 they should self-isolate until 48 hours after their symptoms have substantially or fully resolved.

Symptomatic people are asked not to attend any social events, work, school or college.

First booster doses are available to everyone aged 12 years and older.

Second booster doses are available to people aged 50 and over, pregnant women from 16 weeks, healthcare workers, people aged 12 or older with an underlying medical condition that puts them at high risk of serious illness from Covid-19 and people with weakened immunity.

Third booster doses are available to people aged 65 years or older and people aged 12 or older who have a weak immune system.

Children aged between five and 11 are eligible for the primary two-dose Covid-19 vaccine course, and if they have a weak immune system, they can avail of a booster dose.

Appointments at vaccination centres can be made through the HSE’s website.

Meanwhile, Tallaght University Hospital said on Wednesday it was experiencing a high number of attendances at its Emergency Department (ED) and have activated their full capacity protocol.

“With high attendances and high rates of admissions this puts pressure on the ED and also the hospital as there is a shortage of beds. Discharge from the Hospital continues to be a challenge with a high number of patients waiting home care packages or a place in a nursing home,” it said.

“We are asking the public to consider alternative care options before attending the ED as unfortunately people with less urgent complaints will experience long wait times.”

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times