AS the government considered moving toward a phased removal of Covid restrictions, 72 patients were being treated for the virus at University Hospital Limerick (UHL), eight of them in intensive care or high dependency beds.
UHL was one of 13 hospitals that had no intensive care or high dependency beds available.
As of 8pm on Sunday, 271 of 320 ICU/HDU beds available nationally were occupied by adults and 23 by children, according to figures published by the Health Service Executive.
This left only 17 adult and eight paediatric ICU/HDU available throughout the country including six that were being held in reserve.
Of the 294 patients being treated in ICU/HDU, 88 were Covid-confirmed and 61 of the 155 people who were being “invasively ventilated” were Covid confirmed.
Yesterday UHL announced a visiting ban at all of its inpatient wards following a Covid outbreak in three wards. Parents can visit their children in the hospital, and people assisting vulnerable patients and those visiting critically unwell patients will be dealt with on a “case by case basis”.
A spokesman for the hospital said she did not have information about the total number of cases linked to the outbreak or how many hospital staff were out of action due to the virus.
The hospital urged the public to also refrain from visiting relatives or loved ones outdoors on the grounds of the hospital as this can also present a Covid-19 transmission risk.