17 May 2022

Infants with Covid-19 admitted to hospital ICUs since the start of January as Dr Holohan warns that people of all ages falling critically ill

coronavirus covid-19

Portlaoise hospital ICU staff in PPE at the Covid-19 coalface

Critically infants have been admitted to hospital intensive care units (ICU) in Ireland with Covid-19 since the start of January,  according to the latest official figures.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) Epidemiology of COVID-19 in Ireland 14 day report up to January 15 reveals that 1,428 children aged 0-4 tested positive for the virus since the start of the year. Of these, 28 were hospitalised and two had to be admitted to hospital ICU departments after falling critically ill.

Despite schools being closed, it reports that more than 7,000 children up to age 18 caught the virus in Ireland in the two weeks surveyed but just 41 were hospitalised.

While colleges are operating remote learning, more than 9,600 people aged 19 to 24 caught the various as the third wave surged but none ended up in ICU and 85 had to go to the hospital.

The virus is most common among the mid-20s to mid-30s (25 to 34 years) with more than 13,800 people testing positive. Of these, 175 ended up in hospitals and six fell critically ill.

The highest number and rates of admissions came in the 55-74 age groups. In the 55-64 age bracket,  9291 tested positive with 343 going to the hospital and 41 admitted to ICU.

In the 65-74 cohorts 4239 were infected with 467 going to hospital and 42 falling critically ill. 


The figures show that people of all ages have ended up hospitals since New Year’s Day a point highlighted by Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer in his NPHET statement on Sunday, January 17.

 “The situation in our hospitals is stark. We are seeing people of all ages being admitted to hospital and being taken into intensive care units. The levels of infection are such that your chances of transmitting or getting COVID-19 are very high, and we know that a proportion of those cases will lead to serious illness and mortality. 

“There is no group who should feel the public health advice does not apply to them. It is only if we act together that we can keep ourselves, our loved ones, and health and social care facilities safe,” he said.

As of 2 pm Sunday, 1,928 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised of which 195 are in ICU. 68 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours. About 40 of those who are critically ill have been in ICU for more than two weeks.

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