By Carmel Hayes
THE number of patients with Covid-19 at Portlaoise hospital has plunged since the Easter weekend.
The hospital had only three confirmed virus cases last night, down from eight on Easter Monday.
All three patients were receiving treatment in isolation beds and did not require intensive care.
Just a week ago, on Wednesday 31 March, Portlaoise hospital had 11 Covid patients, including one critically ill in ICU.
The number fell to nine on Good Friday, including one in ICU, while there were eight confirmed Covid cases on Easter Saturday and throughout the weekend. None of the eight patients needed treatment in ICU.
Daily HSE reports show that Portlaoise hospital was extremely busy over the past week, with the number of vacant general beds ranging between only one and three since Good Friday.
The Portlaoise ICU was full throughout the week, as frontline staff looked after critically ill patients with non-coronavirus conditions.
The three confirmed Covid patients receiving treatment in Portlaoise last night were among 220 people hospitalised with the virus nationwide, down from 255 since last Thursday. There were 58 Covid cases in hospital ICUs around the country last night, down from 61 on Thursday.
All figures are from the national Daily Operations Update for Acute Hospitals, which is published online by the HSE and valid for 8pm each night