Northern Ireland news

Premium

North facing 1,000 Covid hospital admissions next month

Chief Medical Officer Sir Michael McBride warned modelling suggests that by mid-August there will be 3,000 to 4,000 daily infections rising to a “worst case scenario” of 8,000
Seanín Graham

DIRE warnings of 1,000 Covid hospital admissions by the end of next month have been issued as Northern Ireland’s infection rates soar.

Pleas to younger people to come forward for vaccinations were also made by health chiefs yesterday as almost one in five adults have not yet been jabbed.

Chief Medical Officer Prof Sir Michael McBride said the north’s 82 per cent vaccine uptake rate was lower than England, Scotland and Wales – but with a five per cent increase hospital cases could be slashed by half.

The north’s most senior medic warned modelling suggests that by mid-August there will be 3,000 to 4,000 daily infections rising to a “worst case scenario” of 8,000.

He said this surge will “translate” from 400 to 600 hospitals admissions with a “pessimistic” scenario of 1,000 patients “at any one time” by late August/early September.

Prof Sir Michael told the BBC the north’s hospitals “couldn’t cope” with this level of illness as backlog pressures from previous waves have left it “feeling like winter at this moment in time”.

A further 1,138 positive cases were recorded yesterday while 118 patients are in hospital, six of whom are in ICU. There was one death confirmed.

The CMO added: “Vaccination is our way out of this pandemic, unfortunately over the past number of weeks we have seen the number of people presenting to get the first dose of the vaccine slow very significantly particularly in the younger age groups.”

Meanwhile, members of the north’s Indian community held an event yesterday to thank Health Minister Robin Swann for vital oxygen generators sent to the subcontinent in May as part of a major relief effort to tackle a devastating wave.

Belfast Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl was also a guest at the Sandy Row Community Centre for the ceremony, which was hosted by the Belfast-based Indian community group ImageNationNI.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news