Concerns about rising hospital numbers

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Minister Simon Harris says ‘most likely’ will require the introduction of Level 4 restrictions across the State but ‘not necessarily’

Concerns about rising hospital numbers

The Chief Executive of the Health Service Executive, Paul Reid, has called the recent rise in hospital admissions a “cause for concern”.

238 people are currently in hospitals, an increase of 24 from last night, and 29 people were in ICU, a slight decrease from 30 last night. There are 201 people in Northern hospitals and 24 of them in intensive care units.

The announcement of the latest figures follows the urging of Higher Education Minister Simon Harris today that this is “the moment of destiny” for the country. Harris said we had “only a very short time to make sure we don’t have to go back to the restrictions”. He said that it was “most likely” that Level 4 restrictions would need to be introduced throughout the State but that “this is not necessarily the case”.

The main differences between Level 4 and Level 3 are that Level 4 only allows open permission for essential businesses, shops and services and no visitors are allowed into the house or any social event.

Level 3 is being further restricted and there will be a national ban from home to midnight tonight and Level 4 is being introduced in three border counties, Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan.

Meanwhile 763 new cases were announced today by the Northern Department of Health and four others have died north of the border as a result of the disease.

To date, 69,121 cases of the disease have been confirmed in Ireland, 23,878 cases north of the border and 45,243 cases south of the border.

2,441 people who have contracted the disease have died since the start of the pandemic, 606 people in the north and 1,835 in the south.

Northern schools are due to close for two weeks from next Monday as part of new restrictions being introduced to curb the rapid spread of the Covid-19 north. Restaurants and pubs will be closed except for takeaway service.