A majority of people are struggling to understand current Covid-19 public health advice, increasing the risk of transmission of the virus, it emerged yesterday.
The latest ESRI Tracker survey on Covid-19 behavior shows that only one in ten people know what to do if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.
It showed that the vast majority of the population believed that symptomatic people should take an antigen test and only self-isolate if it is positive.
Less than 10 percent were aware that the advice is to self-isolate for up to 48 hours after symptoms have subsided.
Fewer than one in five were aware that advice on close contact had changed while willingness to take a booster vaccine had fallen.
More parents have also decided against a Covid 19 vaccination for their five to eleven year olds.
The research, which has been monitoring the nation’s response during the pandemic since early 2021, surveyed people March 15-22 and gave a good look at how the nation is responding to Covid-19 after mandatory face masks were scrapped on February 28 .
It showed how many people were at a loss as to what to do to reduce the spread of Covid-19 as Omicron’s BA.1 and BA.2 versions left hospitals troubled and overwhelmed.
According to the report, the confusion could be related to the extent to which people are no longer following the news about Covid-19.
While overall social activity has reached levels not seen since last summer, the number of close contacts is now significantly higher.
International travel reached its pandemic peak in autumn 2021.
By the end of February, most people were following behaviors like wearing a face mask and keeping two meters apart where possible.
But a dramatic shift followed the lifting of mandatory restrictions at the end of February, with a sharp drop in mask-wearing on public transport, shops and, to a lesser extent, workplaces.
People reported an even greater decrease in the frequency with which others wear masks, including store staff, compared to the frequency with which they wear masks themselves.
People were more concerned about the impact on hospitals, but unlike in the past, this was not associated with an increase in more cautious behavior.
The recent surge in infections has impacted mood, leading to a decline in well-being not seen since early 2021.
The majority saw the government’s response as appropriate, but there was a surge in people believing it was not enough, rising to 30 percent.
It comes amid growing optimism that the current wave is coming under control.
Yesterday, 10,839 people tested positive by a PCR or home antigen test – down 83 percent compared to the same day last week.
The positivity rate for people undergoing HSE PCR testing fell to 34.5 percent yesterday with a seven-day rate of 38.3 percent compared to 44.4 percent on Monday.
There were 1,472 Covid-19 patients in hospital, 63 fewer than the previous day.
However, the number of these patients in intensive care increased by one to 59.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan, in his advice to the government’s Covid-19 committee on Thursday, noted that a significant proportion of infections are in people over the age of 65. As of March 29, about 74 percent of Covid-19 positive patients in hospital were aged 65 and over.
However, of those who were hospitalized, 51 percent had no symptoms and were potentially infectious. One in three had no Covid-19 vaccine.
He said anyone with symptoms should self-isolate for up to 48 hours after symptoms have resolved.
Anyone who is positive should self-isolate for seven days and wearing masks is recommended on public transport and healthcare.
In other situations it should be based on an individual risk assessment.
The actual level of infection is higher than the official figures, he warned.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly again ruled out a return to compulsory restrictions for the time being.
He said there is cautious optimism that we have passed the peak of the current wave.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/only-10pc-know-correct-course-of-action-if-they-have-possible-symptoms-of-covid-41512793.html Only 10 percent know the right course of action when they have possible symptoms of Covid