The winter months are approaching, and many experts are predicting a new wave of the covid virus as hospitals brace themselves for an influx of patients presenting with severe symptoms.

More than 1.6 million positive covid cases have been confirmed in Ireland. The number of people in hospital with Covid has “been edging” up in recent weeks (more than 4300 in the last two weeks alone), according to the HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry, however, he said that at this point, there is no sign of a surge.

If cases continue to rise, the Government says it could reintroduce covid restrictions, although there are no plans to do so thus far.

The news comes as HSE staff have been warned to expect up to 20,000 patients with respiratory diseases this winter.

Flu and covid are both respiratory illnesses that arise from the spread of different viruses. The flu usually peaks between November and February.

Last week, professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at UCD Jack Lambert told Newstalk that the health service will be overwhelmed by a “twindemic” over the coming months as patients present with both the flu and covid.

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