NPHET Urge Public To “Stay At Home” Over Easter As Ireland “On The Cusp” Of 4th COVID Wave

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Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ronan Glynn

NPHET is driving home the message that the public must act responsibly and dramatically cut-back on social contacts over the Easter Bank-Holiday weekend as Ireland is “on the cusp” of a 4th Covid-19 Wave.

The warning comes as UCC professor Gerry Killeen is concerned there is a “gentle upward trend” in coronavirus figures. He said the rise in cases to 761 yesterday was expected due to a backlog in swabs.

NPHET have also provided the Govenment with projected case figures for a number of different scenarios, one of which could see daily totals of 9,500 cases per day and as many as 578,000 cases in total in the next six months.

In a letter sent to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on Monday (29 March), ahead of a government announcement on the easing of restrictions yesterday, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn outlined a “moderate scenario” in which such a high number of cases could arise.

The letter also details a base conservative scenario, with current or marginal increases in close social contact from 5 April 2021, that would result in approximately 80,000 cases by the end of September, with a peak of around 920 per day.

A second “low” scenario projects 199,000 cases over the same time period, while the “moderate” scenario is associated with seven times the level of infection outlined in the base scenario.

A four-week delay in an increase in close social contacts until 3 May, the letter outlines, would reduce the number of cases in the “low” scenario by a projected 25% and the “moderate” scenario by 50%. An eight-week delay (until 31 May) would reduce the number of cases in both scenarios by 50% and 70% respectively.

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