Mater hospital asks public to avoid A&E department due to high patient numbers

Plea comes as 5,677 new PCR confirmed Covid-19 cases reported on Wednesday

The Mater hospital in Dublin has appealed to the public to avoid its emergency department where possible. Photograph: Frank Miller

The Department of Health has reported that a further 5,677 positive cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed by PCR testing. In addition, a further 5,578 people registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal on Tuesday.

As of 8am on Wednesday, there were 627 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 68 of those in ICU. There has been a total of 6,291 deaths related to Covid-19 notified in the Republic, including 63 deaths notified since last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, two further deaths of people who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 were recorded.

The North’s Department of Health said another 3,837 confirmed cases of the virus had also been notified in the last 24-hour reporting period.


The latest figures came as the Mater hospital in Dublin has appealed to the public to avoid its emergency department where possible, due to significant pressure from high numbers of patients attending.

The hospital says it is experiencing high presentations at the emergency department, and an increased number of Covid-19 positive patients in the hospital. Significant pressure is also resulting from staff who cannot come to work due to contracting Covid-19 or being a close contact.

People with non-emergency conditions can expect long waits due to these factors, the hospital says, and are advised to seek help “from other parts of the health service”.

“However, any patient who is in need of emergency hospital care will of course be seen and the Mater would urge such patients not to delay and to seek such care.”

On Tuesday night, there were 65 patients with Covid-19 in the Mater, more than any other hospital. This included 13 in ICU, the highest figure for any hospital nationally.

The Mater says patients who have an appointment should attend as scheduled, unless contacted by the hospital and advised otherwise.

The hospital apologised for any inconvenience caused and thanked the public for their “understanding and co-operation”.

Nationally, the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital fell again on Wednesday, to 627, compared to 646 on Tuesday. The number in intensive care units dropped from 72 to 68. – Additional reporting: PA

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

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