HEALTH CHIEFS in Ireland are working towards a mid-April peak in coronavirus cases, it has been revealed.
Speaking at press briefing Health and Safety Executive (HSE) chief operating officer Ann O’Connor said healthcare officials are bracing themselves for a peak to occur somewhere between Good Friday and Easter Tuesday.
While HSE CEO Paul Reid stressed that it was “impossible” to predict the precise peak of the pandemic, he remains keenly aware of the fact Ireland “have to be prepared”.
Ms O’Connor, however, went further in her predictions, telling reporters “We are certainly working towards a peak in mid-April over the next two to three weeks – that’s what we are planning for but we don’t know.
“We have to work on some basis when it comes to planning and we are planning for a peak between April 10 and 14.
“The other thing to reiterate is a peak will come and go but we will continue to be very busy. It’s not like all of this will go away after the peak.
“There will be a large group of people who will continue to need our services.”
Today we announced our 1st major Isolation facility to help tackle #COVID19. Based in City West Hotel, providing 750 rooms (1100 beds). There, we will also have 600 overflow beds for step down care from hospitals, which we hope not to use, but we have to prepare. @HSELive pic.twitter.com/RlXKIWgN2P
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) March 29, 2020
The projection came at a press briefing announcing that the Citywest hotel and conference centre in Co Dublin was being converted into a quarantine facility capable of housing more than 1,000 Covid-19 patients.
The hotel will be capable of housing up to 450 patients being treated in the acute hospital system for the virus and will provide a further 750 beds for those who need to self-isolate but are unable to do so at home.
The facility will also operate as a step-down unit.
The Citywest site is the first of several planned facilities set to pop up across Ireland in coming weeks.