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

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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