Health officials have reported a drop in the number of people with respiratory infections, but warn it will take weeks before the pressure on hospitals eases.
The number of cases and the number of people hospitalised with Covid-19, Flu and RSV has decreased significantly in the second week of 2023.
However, the high patient numbers in hospitals are expected to continue.
Letterkenny University Hospital recorded 20 patients on trolleys at the Emergency Department this morning, a fall on Tuesday’s figure of 47, which was the worst in the country.
Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said: “The latest data would suggest that the flu season has peaked, and that the pressure from COVID-19 and RSV continues to decline. However, even if this pattern continues, we expect ongoing pressure on the healthcare system from these viruses. I would like to acknowledge the work of the healthcare teams across the country in both hospitals and the community during these past number of weeks.
“We urge ongoing compliance to public health advice, including vaccination against influenza and COVID-19 for eligible groups, as well as the importance of staying at home for people with respiratory symptoms until after they have resolved”.
Stephen Mulvany, Interim CEO of the HSE, also notes the improvements for patients attending Emergency Departments: “Thanks to the significant efforts of our teams on the ground and the wider system including GPs, supported by the measures we have taken, there has been a significant improvement in the Emergency Department situation, with a decrease in the numbers of patients on a trolley awaiting a hospital bed. If, as we hope, the flu season has peaked, it will still take some weeks before the pressure on hospitals eases. We continue to work to drive these numbers down further, in a safe way.”