It has been revealed that the number of patients with Covid-19 in hospital who had been admitted for other reasons is between 25-30%.
The patients subsequently tested positive during their stay, while they were initially being treated for other illness or conditions.
The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the ‘incidental’ Covid-19 cases have been reported by doctors on the ground.
Speaking on Newstalk, Mr Varadkar said: “While we have 1,000 in hospital at the moment, what the doctors are saying to us is as many as 25%-30% of those could be incidental.”
“It could be somebody who has a burst appendix but also has Covid.”
NPHET estimations of incidental cases are much lower at 5%, but CMO Dr Tony Holohan acknowledged yesterday that it could be higher.
The HSE and the Department of Health said they are unable to provide data on how many patients in hospital are being classed as Covid-19 patients, but the virus is not the primary reason for their treatment.