Covid-19: Limerick has highest number of patients in State

Daily case figure worst since January and hospitalisations greatest since April

University Hospital Limerick is the hospital with the highest number of Covid-19 patients in the State, with 25 confirmed and 29 suspected cases.

The hospital last week introduced visiting restrictions in an effort to manage an outbreak of the disease, with two wards directly affected. This was just days after Covid-related visiting restrictions had been lifted.

Galway University Hospitals have the next highest number of Covid-19 patients, with 21 confirmed cases on Saturday evening, followed by Sligo General Hospital with 15, according to a Health Service Executive (HSE) report.

Just one child has been hospitalised with the virus in the Dublin children’s hospitals, where no Covid-19 patients are in ICU.


Four hospitals have no Covid-19 patients at present: the children's hospitals at Tallaght and Temple Street; Wexford General Hospital; and South Tipperary General Hospital.

Covid patients account for 33 out of 258 occupied ICU beds in the system at present, according to the HSE update. A total of 37 ICU beds and 10 paediatric ICU beds remain free, though additional surge capacity is available.

A further 1,837 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported by the Department of Health on Sunday.

At 8am on Sunday, there were 208 patients with the disease in hospital, including 31 in intensive care.

Significant uncertainty

The daily case figure is the highest since last January while hospitalisations are the highest since April.

One more Covid-19-linked death was reported in the North, bringing the total death toll since the start of the pandemic to 2,220.

A further 1,129 people in Northern Ireland tested positive for the virus in a 24-hour period to Sunday afternoon, with the overall number of infections detected since the outbreak began rising to 166,064.

Latest figures on hospitalisations, for Friday, showed 226 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 in the North, of which 37 are in intensive care.

In the Republic, significant uncertainty remains around the trends in Covid-19 cases, according to deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.

The incidence of the disease is high and the disease outlook over the coming days is uncertain, he said.

Some of this uncertainty relates to the effect of the August bank holiday on case numbers and referral patterns, he indicated.

Vulnerable people

Case numbers have increased in recent days, with more than 1,800 infections recorded on Saturday and Sunday. Some 198 people in hospital have tested positive for the virus, up nine on the previous day, including 33 in ICU.

A 14-day incidence of 386 cases per 100,000 people is the highest since early February, Dr Glynn said, in an update on social media.

The incidence is higher than 500 in counties Donegal, Louth, Galway, Mayo and Monaghan.

However, only 3 per cent of cases are among potentially vulnerable people aged 65 years and over. Incidence is highest among those aged 16-34 years.

The link between cases and severe disease has been very substantially weakened through vaccination, he said, but it has not been completely broken.

According to the HSE, 89 per cent of the adult population are now partially vaccinated, with 77 per cent fully vaccinated.

Another 14,356 people received a vaccination dose on Saturday and a total of 6.095 million doses have been administered.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is a former heath editor of The Irish Times.