The number of COVID patients in hospital has dropped by 39% in less than four weeks.
There were 420 COVID patients in hospital this morning – a 17.8% drop on last week and 20% down on two weeks ago.
On November 22nd, the COVID hospitalisation figures hit a fourth-wave peak of 685.
There were 108 in intensive care, which is two fewer than this day last week.
INMO Trolley Watch
Meanwhile, the number of patients waiting on trolleys in Irish hospitals this morning is the second-lowest recorded on this date in eight years.
There were 319 patients waiting for care in trolleys and wards in Irish hospitals this morning, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
The figure is higher than the 220 recorded on December 17th last year – but is otherwise the lowest recorded on this date since 2013.
In 2016, the date fell on a Saturday and as such no figure was recorded; however, on December 16th of that year, there were 409 patients waiting on trolleys.
420 in hospital today. Down 40% from peak a few weeks ago. We were winning the fight against Delta. Now Omicron is coming when we are at our most vulnerable - winter, Christmas, flu season. It’s a cruel virus.
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) December 17, 2021
In a tweet, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar welcomed the drop in COVId patients but warned that “Omicron is coming when we are at our most vulnerable”.
“We're all feeling anger, frustration, dismay, depression but that cannot deflect us from making the right decisions to keep our people safe,” he said.