Coronavirus in Ireland – CRO warns of ‘surge risk increase’ in January, if R numbers rise above 1.0

Coronavirus in Ireland - CRO warns of 'surge risk increase' in January, if R numbers rise above 1.0

The CHIEF medical officer warned the health minister that Ireland faces a “surge high risk” in January unless it stays close to R1.0.

Dr. T. Tony Holohan wrote a letter to Minister Stephen Donnelly on December 10 when the fertility rate stood somewhere between 0.9 and 1.0.

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Tony Holohan’s CMO Dr.
Minister Stephen Donnelly

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Minister Stephen DonnellyCredit: Niall Carson / PA Wire

In a letter published today, the CMO said Ireland’s infection level was “both low and stable”, adding that growth was close to zero per cent.

He explained: “Of particular concern is the significant increase in the number of cases involving health workers and healthcare prescribed cases and the incidence of acute hospital outbreaks associated with death.”

“The epidemiological vulnerability has been reduced due to the epidemic disease load in the acute healthcare system with a tendency to decrease compared to the absolute level in covid-19 cases admitted to the hospital.”

“Moreover, the number of confirmed cases of intensive care and death associated with Covid-19 does not decrease.”

The CMO also said that NPHET continues to see “persistent overdoses” in the elderly, the group most susceptible to the worst outcomes of the disease.

‘High risk of surgery’

He said that as of December 10, the population had increased mobility measures, the number of close contacts was stable.

However, he added: “The modeling analysis shows a high risk of a resurgence in January 2021 unless it is close to R1.0 and the need to maintain very close monitoring in terms of disease outline in the coming days and weeks.”

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In the letter, the CMO also said that NPHET recommends setting up a national outbreak control team by HSE.

He said the team would coordinate the work of the HSE National Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control team and where appropriate.

This will require “regular reporting to the NPHET as well as coherence of approaches to the management of Kovid-19 outbreaks in acute hospitals.”

Meanwhile, The NPHET is meeting today amid concerns that the Covid-19 case is “moving in the wrong direction”.

Restrictions on home visits and inter-county travel are set to be eased tomorrow.

The NPHET will also discuss the deteriorating situation in Northern Ireland, but will also raise concerns about the number of cases in the Republic.

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