With Covid-19 a “bulk” of people in intensive care carrying the delta version of the virus, the Taoiseach has indicated that no “major” new public health measures are expected this week.
Speaking after cabinet today, Mr Martin told reporters that he had been told by physicians in HSE and healthcare that it was too early to make a full assessment of the effect of the Omicron variant on the ICU, which appears to be causing mild symptoms. enter.
However, he added: “In terms of ICU, it seems that the majority of ICU cases are delta cases. They are complex, severe disease in many cases, and that’s the response I got from HSE physicians. That’s what the medics told them.” That was “always” in the ICU telling unvaccinated medical teams to look after him that he regretted not getting the vaccine.
According to data provided to Mr Martin by HSE chief executive Paul Reed on Wednesday morning, 54 per cent of the population in intensive care is from the small percentage that is still uninsured.
“That’s a very high figure, it’s about five percent of the population. [causing] 54 per cent ICU,” Mr Martin said.
On Wednesday, 17,656 more confirmed cases of Kovid-19 were reported in the state. 40 more deaths were reported in the last week.
As of 8 am on Wednesday, 928 Covid-19 patients had been admitted to the hospital, up from 44 in the last 24 hours. There were 94 in the ICU, an increase of four on Tuesday’s figure.
On the impact of the Omicron version on hospitals, Mr Martin said he was under pressure, and that a clearer picture should emerge in the coming days of this type of impact on ICU admissions.
“They’re saying it’s different but they’re still saying it’s too early to say and it’s too early to be certain about the relationship between Omicron and ICU admissions. Certainly, there are hospitalizations, we There are close to 1,000 now, so it remains to be seen how much impact it will have on the ICU. This is something that is yet to be confirmed or needs evaluation for the next 10 days.”
While he said he did not want to give pre-emptive advice on public health restrictions to be considered by health officials on Thursday, the Taoiseach indicated that the possible route is “stable as it goes”.
“We do not expect any major changes to the current set of restrictions,” he said. “The people have been fantastic, they have really responded, and I think we need to keep that up over the next few weeks, it will be a challenging number of weeks, but to protect people, society, the economy, these measures What will he do for it?”
“It looks like the overall picture is the current set of restrictions that are in effect, it remains to be seen whether public health wants to offer any further advice regarding this, but there are signs that it will remain stable as it goes. Nonetheless, he indicated that he expects the number of Covid-19 cases to continue to rise before reaching a peak.
He pushed back against suggestions that public statements by Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, advising against household mixing, risk undermining government policy, which could limit mixing to four households.
“The CMO has not gone out to dilute the government’s position, he was very frank with me yesterday, and we discussed and reviewed the situation over time. He was particularly concerned about New Year’s Eve, Because last year it would have been a super-spreader event.” However, he acknowledged that he could “see challenges” for people in interpreting what might be seen as contradictory advice.
Asked about changes to rules for the isolation of close contacts as part of an effort to keep the workforce available, he said the public health chief was mindful of the effects on society, but that “the important call here is to do nothing.” Is. Rapidly which can accelerate the exponential growth of the virus even further”.
With the virus still increasing rapidly in the number of cases, he said: “That’s why all these issues around close contacts need to be reviewed because the balance is that you don’t want to make decisions that will further spread.” Speed up, especially when we’re seeing increasingly elevated levels.”