June 25, 2021

No Covid patients in Ireland’s largest hospital for first time since pandemic began

Ireland’s largest hospital has no patients with Covid-19 for the first time since the pandemic began, according to the HSE’s chief executive.

Paul Reid said it was “remarkable” that St James’s Hospital in Dublin has no Covid patients after dealing with a high number of cases earlier this year.

“It grew rapidly during January and February,” he said.

“But we must always remain cautious. We don’t need to look much further than the UK and much further back than yesterday when they had over 7,500 cases.”

As of last night, there were 76 people hospitalised with the disease throughout the Republic, including 27 people in intensive care.

Mr Reid said the Republic’s vaccination programme was continuing at “a really great pace.”

“There are now over 3.1 million vaccines administered and over 2.2 million people have received their first dose,” he said.

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“Over 1.1 million people have received a second dose and are fully vaccinated, so about 26 per cent of people are fully vaccinated. Some 57 per cent of the population have received their first dose.”

He added that vaccination uptake remains strong across all age cohorts.

Cyberattack

Mr Reid also said the impact of the recent cyberattack is still felt “profoundly” on health services.

He added that the HSE is managing the “extreme risk” across many of its healthcare settings.

“It is very difficult for us still in many of our hospitals as we scale up the systems,” he added.

“We still do not have interconnectivity between hospitals.

“Staff continue to work hard to mitigate the impacts and I want to thank them for that.

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“But the road to recovery on this is long and over many weeks to come, but we will do everything we can to protect and provide services to patients.”

Mr Reid also said there are a rising number of people attending emergency departments and appealed to people who are not facing emergency health care issues to see a GP or pharmacist.

It comes after the Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said Ireland is now aiming to have 70 per cent of adults fully vaccinated by the end of July. He said the target was very much dependent on securing sufficient supply.

Mr Martin said Ireland was set to reach the “significant milestone” of having one million people fully vaccinated by the end of Thursday.