HEALTH officials expect a surge of Covid-19 cases by the middle of April.
The HSE is opening a new coronavirus isolation and step-down facility at the City West Hotel in Dublin.
The facility, which is to open late next week, will contain 750 beds for people who need to isolate, while a step-down unit will be functioning within three weeks and will be able to cater for 450 people.
“We have to plan for the worst case scenario. We have to be prepared,” HSE CEO Paul Reid said.
The HSE chief operations officer Anne O’Connor said that, while it could not be said for sure, the peak is expected for April 10-14.
She said: “I don’t think that any of us can say exactly when the peak is going to be,” she said. “We are certainly working towards a peak in mid-April, so certainly towards the next two to three weeks and that is what we are planning for but clearly we don’t know.
“We do have to work on some basis when it comes to planning and we are planning for a peak between the 1o and 14 April, around that time.
“Just to reiterate, is that a peak will come and go whenever but we will continue to be very busy so it’s not like all of this will go away after the peak.
“We will continue to have a high number of people, an exceptionally large number of people, availing of our services once that peak has passed.”
The HSE is also developing a contract tracing app, which is designed to alert people when someone close to them has been tested positive for Covid-19.
“We will continue our contact tracing efforts. We have trained 1,400 people to do this work and will have around 4,000 people doing contact tracing over the next few weeks,” said Mr Reid.Tags: