LATEST: Over record 20,000 new cases of virus and big rise in hospital numbers
A record 20,554 people have contracted Covid-19, the Department of Health confirmed this evening.
There are now 619 patients being treated in hospital with the virus, an increase of 51 since yesterday. Of these, 88 are in ICU, a drop of five.
Commenting on the worrying rise in hospital cases, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “All of the latest epidemiological indicators are a cause of concern. In recent days, we have seen a rise in new admissions to hospital of Covid-19 patients, at levels not seen since January 2021.”
And despite the huge level of infections, Dr Clíona Ní Cheallaigh, an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine at Trinity College, said the true number of Covid cases is much higher than the reported figures.
Dr Ní Cheallaigh, who is also a Consultant Physician at St James’s Hospital in Dublin, said the testing system is currently maxed out.
She told RTE’s Morning Ireland: “I would suspect that the true number of cases is actually much higher than the 16,000 [reported yesterday] which is in itself is a pretty staggering number.”