THERE are fears that Ireland is on the verge of a fifth wave of the Covid-19 virus and Waterford is at the epicentre of those concerns, with the highest incidence of the virus in the country as of Monday, October 11.
In the last seven days, there’s been 408 cases of covid in Waterford, which equates to an incidence rate of 351.2 per 100k population. In the last 14 days, Waterford has seen 719 new cases, which is a worrying 618.9 cases per 100k.
The news doesn’t get any better for the hospital, who saw a significant spike in cases over the weekend. Last Friday, there were 10 patients with covid in the hospital and as of Monday afternoon (October 11) there were 18. Last Friday, October 8, the figures went back above 2,000 having being lingering around the 1000 mark for two weeks. As the country prepares for another easing of restrictions, which will allow life to return to the closest thing to normal that we’ve had since March 2019, there doesn’t appear to be any sign of the virus relenting. Nationally, hospital case numbers are up 120%, and ICU cases are up 117% on last week’s figures. There are currently 75 patients in Intensive Care, none of which are in University Hospital Waterford however.
Between April 1 and October 2, 2021 there were 318 covid related deaths, 158 of whom were not vaccinated and 160 had received at least one dose of the vaccine prior to death. The virus is still more deadly for the elderly, with the median age being 82 and the mean age being 80.
The Waterford News & Star contacted University Hospital Waterford on Monday (October 11), to check the capacity levels in light of the Dunmore Wing being returned to its intended use. No reply has been received as of yet.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn has urged people to continue to take precautions.
“We will continue to monitor this situation closely to see if the trend in new infections over recent days is sustained. If you are experiencing a high temperature, dry cough, or flu like symptoms please stay at home – do not go to work or socialise. To keep yourself and your family safe please continue to regularly wash your hands, wear a mask when appropriate, open windows and ventilate indoor spaces, and choose outdoors where possible for meeting others.”