Concern raised over rising Covid-19 cases by govt officials and Deputy CMO
Concern has been expressed at a meeting of the Senior Officials Group on Covid-19, about whether latest figures on Covid-19 represent a blip or a trend, RTÉ News has learned.
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 22 October, 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.
Today’s meeting heard that Ireland has just enough vaccine protection to allow it to be as open as it currently is.
Separately, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee is discussing the issue of booster vaccines for other age groups in the population, beyond those aged 65 years in nursing homes and long term residential care, those over 80 and people who are immunocompromised.
Dr Maire Finn, a GP in Co Clare said healthcare professionals will need to receive a booster Covid-19 vaccine.
“There is an increasing uneasiness and a bit of nervousness within the profession generally,” she said on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne Dr Finn said.
She said her practice has experienced a spike in viral presentations, and witnessed a reluctance among patients to be tested for Covid-19.
There has been a further slight rise in the number of patients being treated in hospital for Covid-19.
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.
The Health Service Executive National Lead for Testing and Tracing said the positivity rate for Covid-19 in the community has started to rise.
Niamh O’Beirne said the rate is currently at 10%, with some counties reporting rates of up to 15%, adding that there has been a change in the trend in the past six or seven days.