Individual action is the best way to fight Covid-19

According to the chief medical officer, changes in individual actions and behaviors are the best ways to fight the transmission of Covid-19.

Dr Tony Holohan called on people to buy into and follow current public health measures.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Holohan said failure to put in place mitigation measures would have resulted in each case of Covid-19 potentially infecting around six to eight other people, so that the reproduction level is currently 1.25.

“We have an increasing level of infection that doesn’t need to happen. It is not inevitable that they will get this infection,” he said.

“If we get this behavior, if you will, as good as it can be – preventing the people most likely to spread this infection from circulating in the population – we can have an impact in terms of transmission.

“The government can’t make people do this.”

Dr Holohan added that any improvement, following the new restrictions imposed last week, should start to be seen this week and that the NPHET will review all data at its meeting later this week.

Chief Physician Dr Tony Holohan

However, he added that significant changes are unlikely to have occurred.

Dr Holohan acknowledged that there were capacity issues in intensive care, but said Covid is a preventable respiratory infection and admission to intensive care for preventable illness should not be accepted.

Many countries across Europe, including Austria, have more intensive care beds than Ireland but still rely on restrictions to reduce the number of infections, he added.

The CMO also said it would not be surprised if the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NIAC) recommended extending the booster vaccine to all people under the age of 50 and if that recommendation came, it would come in time. .

He said antigen testing has always had a role, but their widespread use in asymptomatic populations must occur in situations where their use is understood.

He said about one in five adults said they used an antigen test last week and used it when symptomatic – which is not the public health advice.

When you have symptoms, you should have a PCR test, he said.

He added that if an asymptomatic person wishes to have an antigen test before high-risk activity (like a wedding), they can only really trust the result if the result is positive.

Dr Holohan said he understood why INTO believed the end of testing and tracing in schools was a mistake, but added that there was clear evidence when schools resumed that testing was positive. in the elementary age group declined significantly in September, when there was a huge increase in testing among this age group.

He said children in this age group mostly contract the disease at home rather than passing it on at school, and parents should make sure that any child with a symptom stays home until. that he has a negative PCR test.

Intensive care is approaching ‘saturation point’

Separately, the dean of the joint intensive care faculty at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin said intensive care was approaching saturation point across the state.

Dr Andrew Westbrook, board member of the Intensive Care Society of Ireland (ICSI), said more restrictions may be needed to reduce the strain on hospitals, but that is on public health officials and for the government to decide.

He urged anyone eligible for vaccination or a booster to get vaccinated.

He said elective procedures are being canceled or postponed at all hospitals while elective diagnostic procedures for patients with chronic conditions, such as cancer, have been reduced in order to prioritize acute admissions for Covid patients and not -Covid.

Dr Westbrook said there had been a steady increase in the number of Covid patients presenting to hospitals and between 5% and 10% of them would be admitted to intensive care.

He called the cancellation of a transplant operation at Mater Hospital “very unfortunate” and said it was symptomatic of the lack of intensive care bed resources in Ireland, adding that the healthcare system needed a minimum of 150 additional intensive care beds.

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Yesterday, the Ministry of Health confirmed 4,181 new cases of Covid-19.

As of 8 a.m. this morning, there were 684 patients hospitalized with the virus, 15 more than the day before.

Among these, 125 people were treated in intensive care.

People are advised not to go to walk-in clinics for walk-in reminders

Separately, the Health Service Executive said walk-in booster clinics are not currently available, although they are administered on certain occasions.

The HSE said it was aware that a number of people eligible for their recall were showing up at vaccination centers, without an appointment.

“Where there is local capacity and vaccines available, immunization centers may strive to facilitate locally, but this will not always be possible,” the HSE said.

As a result, the HSE called on the public to wait for an assigned appointment via text message and to show up at the scheduled time.

A Covid advisor from the Irish College of GPs said she knew some people in their 60s and 60s were getting booster shots at walk-in clinics, but said she would not encourage this because they are not guaranteed to be injected.

Dr Mary Favier said GPs are almost done giving boosters to the over 80s and are heading towards the over 70s.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, she also said that antigen testing has its place in environments such as a workplace, but unfortunately it is too often used in the wrong environment.

Dr Favier said GPs see symptomatic people having antigen tests when they should have PCR tests and said she had a patient last week who had five negative results on antigen tests , but refused to believe he had Covid-19.

However, when he finally took a PCR test, he found out he did have Covid, she said.

“At the end of the day, if you have symptoms, stay home, isolate, do a PCR test, and only use antigen tests if you have no symptoms.”

The HSE vaccination program has now administered 580,017 booster doses, or additional doses, according to the latest figures.

This includes an additional 67,270 doses for people who are immunocompromised.

The data is from yesterday.

Additional reports Fergal Bowers

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