The deputy chief physician, Dr. Ronan Glynn, has said that all indicators of Covid-19 “point to a deterioration in the trajectory of the disease nationwide.”
He made the comment in a threat on social media posted when the Department of Health reported 1,627 new cases of Covid-19 with 415 people treated at the hospital on Thursday at 8am, 70 of them in the ICU.
Although the numbers were lower than on Wednesday, concerns about rising numbers of infections have called into question plans to remove almost all restrictions on Friday next week.
As Taoiseach and Tánaiste acknowledged that the planned easing of restrictions would not take place with certainty, with a final decision to be made early next week, Dr Glynn said that “unfortunately, we have seen key indicators increase. of # COVID19 nationwide “. and the growth rate of the epidemic has accelerated in recent days.
“All the indicators of # COVID19 point towards a deterioration of the trajectory of the disease at national level. We are seeing an increase in the incidence in all age groups, including older age groups. The national incidence is now 415 / 100,000, ”he said on Twitter.
“As a result, we see an impact on our hospital system with an average of 50 people admitted to the hospital per day (compared to 35 per day at the end of September) and 5 admissions for intensive care per day.
“It is important that everyone who is completely vaccinated has the security that vaccines offer very good protection against # COVID19.
“However, when the incidence of the disease is high, we will see advanced infections in vaccinated people: the experience of most people in the infection will be mild, but some will end up in hospital and intensive care. We want to avoid it. “
The national public health emergency team (Nphet) on Wednesday briefed senior officials and political aides on current trends.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said a decision will be made next week on whether to make the restrictions more flexible.
Speaking to Dáil on Thursday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that if everyone were completely vaccinated there would be “no doubt” about the reduction of restrictions.
Varadkar said no decision had been made on the forecast easing of restrictions on October 22, but that the Cabinet would likely decide on Monday or Tuesday, when more data will be available.
“Israel, which saw the return of Delta, lowered and regained control of its numbers through an extensive reinforcement program,” Varadkar said.
“The case for something like this is stronger than ever.”
The tainista said the reinforcement program was progressing as the administration of a third vaccine began with those over 65 in residential care settings, those over 80 in the community, and those with underlying conditions. .
Varadkar said the government was waiting for the advice of the National Vaccination Advisory Committee (Niac) on a broader strengthening program.
|Confirmed cases in hospital||Confirmed cases in the ICU|
He told Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell, who raised the issue, that in relation to those who are not yet vaccinated, “vaccines are still available and vaccine centers are still open.”
He said: “It’s a personal choice, but the truth is that if everyone in Ireland were completely vaccinated, we would probably have about 25 people in the ICU and 200 in the hospital in general, and there would be no doubt about reducing restrictions October 22. It’s a personal choice, but it affects other people. “
Edge of the knife
Regarding the Irish situation in Covid-19, Professor Philip Nolan of Nphet said on Thursday “we are basically on the brink of a knife” as he appealed to people who had not yet been vaccinated to do so. ho.
Making a decision not to get vaccinated was not just a personal choice, he said of well-known people who had refused vaccination. There was an obligation, he said, especially if they had a “follow-up”.
The virus spread “subtly and slowly” to the vaccinated population, Professor Nolan warned.
“Leaving home with symptoms should be socially unacceptable as driving with alcohol,” he said, advising those who have symptoms not to mix with others.
Professor Nolan said Nphet would have to wait a few more days to gather more data to comment on the easing of restrictions on 22 October.
The current situation was one of the scenarios that had been modeled, he said, “we had hoped it wouldn’t happen.”
There was concern that the positive cases identified could now be moved to hospitalizations next week, he said.
Professor Nolan’s appeal about vaccinations echoed that of the Chief Operating Officer of the Health Service Executive (HSE), Anne O’Connor, who previously repeated an appeal for unvaccinated people to receive the punch.
O’Connor told RTÉ radio Morning Ireland that most patients admitted to hospital with Covid and the ICU were not vaccinated and 10% of the unvaccinated adult population was responsible for 50% of admissions.
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris suggested extending the Covid digital certificate beyond October 22 as a possible means of fully reopening society safely.
Harris said that under current proposals, the use of digital certificates was no longer necessary after the restrictions on places, such as nightclubs, ended at the end of next week.
In statements Thursday, Harris suggested that an ongoing requirement to show the digital certificate could allow for reopening in a more secure way.
“We are not in this binary position of opening or not opening. We learned a lot about the virus and learned a lot about how to stay safe. We have a lot of people vaccinated, ”he said.
“We should ask ourselves more nuanced questions. How can it be opened and kept open safely? “
Harris also urged people who have not used the vaccination to “go out to protect themselves and protect their community” through the vaccine.
On the Government’s reflection on the reopening, he said: “We will make the right decision. To make the right decision, we will analyze the data that will arrive over the next few days.”
The Taoiseach said the government will make an assessment next week on whether the next phase of reopening will go ahead or not. Martin said he has held discussions with health services management and public health experts and will hear his advice in the coming days.
However, he stressed that the vaccination program in Ireland has been a great success, as 90% of those over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.
He urged the 370,000 adults who have not been vaccinated, or who have only received one shot, to be completely vaccinated.
“Covid has the ability to do many turns and many laps. It has changed in recent days (with a growing number of cases), “he said.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe previously told Pat Kenny of Newstalk that it was “a little less likely” that there would be a widespread return to work on 22 October.
Speaking at Newstalk Breakfast, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said it was possible that some of the existing restrictions would not be removed on the scheduled date, but that any decision would be made on the advice of experts. in public health and available data.
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald called on the government to do everything it can to provide clarity to sectors that are expected to reopen on October 22nd.
“We all have to use our police,” he told RTÉ radio’s News at One.
Experts had consistently said caution should be exercised, not panic, he said, and that any decision to reduce restrictions on October 22 should be taken into account by public health councils.
The core of the problem was in the provision of public health and the real dilemma, he said, was that the government would not turn to the health service.
Meanwhile, six more people have died in the north with Covid-19, the Northern Ireland health department said on Thursday.
A total of 1,304 new positive cases were identified and 345 people receive treatment for Covid-19 in northern hospitals, with 38 in intensive care.