Over 2,000 Covid-19 patients in Irish hospitals for first time since pandemic began
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Over 2,000 Covid-19 patients in Irish hospitals for first time since pandemic began

COVID-19 hospitalisations numbers in Ireland climbed above 2,000 on Monday - for the very first time since the pandemic began.

According to the latest figures from the Health Service Executive (HSE), there are now 2,023 patients suffering from coronavirus in hospitals around the country, and 196 people are in intensive care.

Today, HSE chief Paul Reid said that over 400 people across the hospital system are receiving "high grade ventilation and respiratory support", both inside and outside of ICU.

Facilities across Ireland are under increasing pressure to deal with the sharp increase in patient numbers over the last few weeks, and Mr Reid says the HSE is "working really hard to remain in control".

According to the Irish Times nearly 6,400 healthcare staff are out of work due to Covid-19 as hospitals face into their most difficult week on record.

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More concerning are the reports that many healthcare workers who are isolating due to being close contacts of a Covid-19 are being asked to come back to work due to severe staff shortages.

Despite this, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly insists that hospitals will be able to manage the peak of the third wave with the health service's surge capacity of 350 ICU beds.

He stressed that the service has sufficient staff, personal protective equipment, ventilators and oxygen to treat the expected peak of severely ill virus patients.

Earlier this month, the HSE signed a deal with 16 private hospitals in the country, to avail of 30% of their bed space if it's needed.