Covid-19: ICU admissions and deaths down to a fraction of first wave

CSO data show 93% of those who have died with Covid-19 had underlying condition

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: told RTÉ on Friday night that the curbs needed to stay in place for six weeks ‘to get the number really down to a very, very low level’. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Hospitalisations, intensive care admissions and deaths due to Covid-19 are running at a fraction of the level seen during the first wave of the pandemic, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The hospitalisation rate has fallen from 192 per 1,000 cases in March to a provisional figure of 32 last month. The rate of admission to intensive care units, which was 27 per 1,000 in March, was five per 1,000 in September and three per 1,000 last month.

The age profile of cases in the current wave has been much lower than in the first.

Hospital Report

The data show that more than 93 per cent of those who have died with Covid-19 in the State had an underlying condition.


The CSO said that, in all, 1,679 people with Covid-19 had died at the end of last month, with a further 229 deaths having a probable link to the virus. It said 11 healthcare workers with Covid-19 have died, higher than the eight recorded by the HSE.

A further 499 Covid-19 cases and eight deaths were reported on Friday evening, with the Department of Health saying there have been 1,940 deaths to date and 64,538 confirmed cases.

With the national 14-day incidence of the disease dropping below the 200 mark, Ireland now has the fifth-lowest incidence of Covid-19 in Europe.

Exit plan

Discussions are taking place in Government about a plan to exit the lockdown in December. The leaders of the three Coalition parties discussed the issue earlier this week, and talks between officials are continuing on a regular basis.

Among the issues being discussed, it is understood, is the threat posed by hundreds of thousands of people returning to Ireland for the Christmas period.

State airport operator DAA last year reported that up to 1.2 million people travelled through Dublin airport over the Christmas period.

Ministers and officials have also held preliminary discussions about what sort of restrictions might allow pubs and restaurants to reopen over the Christmas, though no conclusions have yet been reached.

There is currently research being conducted to establish the level of infection that has been seen in pubs, restaurants and homes.

The prospect of an early end to the Level 5 restrictions has all but evaporated, despite falling infection levels.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin told RTÉ on Friday night that the curbs needed to stay in place for six weeks “to get the number really down to a very, very low level so that we have maximum flexibility then for December, and beyond”.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

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

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times