Several hundred thousand people are each infected with Covid-19 but there are no plans for restrictions to be reintroduced, Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly said.
r Donnelly said “serious action” was needed to reduce the rise in infections and reiterated Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan’s advice that no new Covid rules were needed at this time.
“The subvariant we are dealing with now, the BA2 variant, is very, very contagious and the kind of measures you would need to take to radically reduce the spread would be really quite serious measures indeed ‘ the health minister told a private Fianna members of the Fáil party met last night.
“If we’re registering 10,000 to 15,000 cases a day through PCR and antigen testing, you can be assured that the real numbers are many times that,” Mr Donnelly said.
“We are currently looking at most likely several hundred thousand new Covid cases per week, which is a very high number,” he added.
The health minister said the surge in cases is putting pressure on the country’s hospital system.
However, he said there are still a “relatively small number” of people in critical care.
“Where this is really taking a toll on the healthcare system is in the number of hospitalized patients that we have. To date we have registered 1,600 patients who have tested positive for Covid,” he said.
“About half of them are there for Covid and about half of them are asymptomatic, they have tested positive for Covid but that is not why they are there. In terms of actual patients because of Covid, it’s about 800.”
It comes as emergency advisers said conditions are now worse than ever.
They said a five-hour wait to be admitted to a bed results in one extra death for every 82 patients.
If the delay is six to eight hours, there is a risk of another death.
“The alarm bells should ring,” warned the doctors of the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine.
dr Fergal Hickey, an emergency adviser in Sligo and spokesman for the body, said patients could wait on a trolley for days and there was “no convincing evidence” that politicians or managers recognize the “danger to life” this poses.
https://www.independent.ie/news/hundreds-of-thousands-of-covid-cases-but-no-new-restrictions-41497425.html “Hundreds of thousands of Covid cases” – but no new restrictions