23 May 2022

'The numbers are worrying' - Concerns raised over rising Covid cases

'The numbers are worrying' - Concerns raised over rising Covid cases

'The numbers are worrying' - Concerns raised over rising Covid cases

Concern has been expressed at a meeting of the Senior Officials Group on Covid-19, about whether latest rising figures on Covid-19 represent a blip or a trend.

Today's meeting included the Secretaries General of government departments, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn and Chair of the NPHET Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group Professor Philip Nolan.

While no discussion was held about the plan to lift most remaining restrictions from Friday October 22nd, The National Public Health Emergency Team is to meet next Monday to review the trends and advise Government on how it should best proceed.

There was concern at the meeting about the rise in Covid-19 positivity rates, testing and tracing, and the number of patients in hospital and in ICUs.

A number of officials expressed concern that it appeared that complacency has risen and there may be a perception among some members of the public that the pandemic is over.

NPHET is to examine the data in detail, including any indications that the protection from full vaccination may be trailing down for some people who were vaccinated earlier in the national campaign.

Deputy Glynn said 70% of people being treated in ICU recently have not been fully vaccinated.

As of this morning, there were 408 people in hospital with the virus, up six from the same time yesterday.

Of these, 73 patients with Covid-19 are in intensive care units, unchanged from yesterday.

Yesterday, the Department of Health reported 1,466 new cases of Covid-19.

On Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show on Wednesday morning, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar admitted "the numbers are worrying" when he was asked where was the science to say it is safe to lift almost all remaining restrictions in Ireland on October 22.

He said there will be a NPHET meeting early next week and that "we'll have to see what the outcome of that meeting is and what their advice is."

He also said "there are lots of theories" as to why Ireland's incidence rate of the virus has remained so high. Ireland is still a red zone in terms of incidence while other countries have moved to green and yellow status.

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