The number of close contacts in a case that is a key indicator of Kovid-19 trends has begun to rise again, the health service executive said.
There were 3.8 contacts in each case diagnosed in the past week. Meanwhile, the HSE clinical officer said the test positivity rate had risen from 2.5 per cent to 2.9 per cent. Colm Henry said.
“It’s too early to tell whether the growth rate will continue to rise,” he said.
As the country faces another critical period, if people do not reduce their contacts and “suffocate” the virus at every opportunity, it will spread to individuals, households and generations.
HSE chief executive Paul Reid has warned the public about the “three ingredients” and the high-risk multiplier effect, urging them to engage in “maximum monitoring” ahead of Christmas.
These were the increase in cases, the increase in test positivity, and the huge increase in the number of case contacts if people socialized for Christmas.
Combined with the increased demand for hospital services at this time of year and the “disproportionate” impact on Kovid-19 hospitals based on bed and ward closures, this is a “dangerous mix”.
Mr Reid reiterated his commitment to maintaining the lowest possible level of contact with people, limiting family visits and, above all, protecting the vulnerable. He warned that getting too many contacts for Christmas would “not work” and could be limited thereafter.
While welcoming the news of a vaccine, Dr. Henry said, “It’s all over” or “we have a cure” or it doesn’t mean giving up public health practices.
HSE Clinical Lead Professor Martin Cormicon said those who want to see older relatives next week should now reduce their contacts.
“If you take the risk this weekend, if you visit older relatives next week, you risk their lives,” he told a news conference.
“Meet people only in the home you trust in your life,” he said. “When they arrive, do not greet them with alcohol. This time it will be hand gel. ”
The best way for people to celebrate Christmas safely is to keep their indoor “bubble” as small as possible.
Wearing a mask while cooking and opening the windows is unlikely to stop the transmission with guests, he said, adding that the rest of the time is spent at the dinner table, watching television or playing a board game.
The HSE has not yet received any request from the North Indian Health Service because of the high Covid-19 numbers, but Raid said it will consider one if it is manufactured.
The hospital currently has 211 Kovid-19 patients, including 27 in the intensive care unit.
Details about the distribution of Pfizer / Biotech vaccine, in terms of time and quantity, were not completely nailed down, Raid said.
He added that HSE is in talks with Pfizer to increase this amount, even though the first assignment will reach 5,000 doses. After that, more supplies were expected to arrive every week or 10 days.
He said price was not an issue in the discussion and that adequate stocks of syringes and needles were available.
He added that contracts for the IT system for the preparation of the vaccine are nearing completion.
Mr Reid said the rollout would be the first national project to use a personal health identifier from start to finish.
The number of tests performed last week increased by 30 percent over last week, with 82,000 tests performed in laboratories.