New modelling suggests COVID hospitalisations and intensive care admissions will continue to rise in the coming weeks, the Health Minister has warned.
Senior Ministers are meeting this evening to discuss the latest advice from NPHET – which includes calls for a return to working from home where possible and the potential extension in the use of COVID certs.
Speaking on his way into the meeting this evening, the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the latest modelling suggested Ireland is some way off the peak of the current wave.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says cases, hospitalisations and ICU admissions will continue rising in the coming weeks #COVID19
Says new NIAC advice has been received on boosters - understood to be for people in their 50s pic.twitter.com/nVtYjmEsiQ
— Stephen Murphy (@StephenMNews) November 15, 2021
“As we know cases are continuing to rise rapidly and the pressure on our hospital system including ICU continues,” he said.
“We have received new modelling just in the last few hours which says that cases, hospitalisations and ICU will continue to rise in the coming weeks.”
It is believed the NPHET modelling suggests the peak will not be until some time in December with the health service struggling to cope in the worst-case scenario.
In the most optimistic scenario, it warns that nearly all routine and elective surgeries could be curtailed in coming weeks.
In the worst-case scenario, it suggests intensive care units could be dealing with 400 to 500 patients by next month.
Minister Donnelly said he is expecting new advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) this evening on rolling out booster vaccines to younger age groups.
“The evidence for the boosters is incredibly strong,” he said. “We have about 1.4 million already greenlighted for the boosters. I am working with the HSE. It is all hands on deck in terms of getting these boosters out.
“I am expecting additional advice this evening from NIAC. I will confirm it later when we have it, but the indications are it is positive in terms of adding a significant additional number to those who would be availing of boosters.”
It is understood the new NIAC advice could see boosters offered to people in their 50s.