After a six-week strict ban on sales in December, Ireland has become one of the countries with the lowest Covid-19 cases in Europe. Since then, the situation has changed dramatically.
According to the Oxford University online scientific publication “Data World”, the country had the highest infection rate last week.
Statistics show that in the seven days ending January 10, Ireland reported approximately 1,323 Covid-19 cases per million people, more than any other country in the same period.
According to a statement from the Irish Health Department, on Friday, it recorded the highest daily increase in infections since the pandemic began, with 8,248 new cases.
Professor Philip Nolan, a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) in Ireland, warned: “In terms of our level of Covid-19 in the community, the alarming level of disease is unprecedented.” “The number of cases we see every day and the number of hospitals We cannot understand the number of cases before Christmas.”
Irish medical experts, politicians and the public are now debating what went wrong.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Micheál Martin’s office said that the seasonality of the virus, the presence of more spreadable British variants, and family mixing during holidays have all exacerbated the epidemic.
The spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday that spikes are not “simplistic” and there are many factors that cause spikes.
They said: “During the Christmas period, our social activities have increased. Our public health experts say that the seasonality of the virus is a big factor.”
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An Irish spokesperson reopened the hotel and other departments on December 4, but with restrictions. The spokesperson said that Ireland insisted on this decision, saying that the participating departments “generally” comply with public health measures, and that the infection rate in the hotel, retail and construction industries is “relatively low”. Set up.
The more contagious British variant first discovered in Ireland on Christmas Day “has a major impact [on] The increase in cases is because it is believed that the probability of spread has increased by 50% to 70%. “The spokesperson added.
Cillian De Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said in a statement on Monday that approximately 40% of Ireland’s latest positive cases of Covid-19 were caused by the more infectious British variant.
From December 18, even though other European countries have cancelled Christmas parties, Irish families are still allowed to mix with up to two other families.
According to data from the Ministry of Justice, between December 21 and January 3, more than 54,000 people flew to the Republic of Ireland.
Gabriel Scally, President of Epidemiology and Public Health of the Royal Society of Medicine, said on the phone Tuesday: “There is no properly managed isolation system.” “From the perspective of others, Ireland and the United Kingdom are unsuccessful. Island. After a difficult year, people’s desire to have a normal Christmas is understandable; but this virus is not known.”
Ireland closed restaurants, food bars and some shops on Christmas Eve, and since then further strengthened lockdown measures-including closing non-essential construction sites, schools and childcare services.
According to data from the health department, Ireland currently has 1,582 Covid-19 patients hospitalized, of which 146 have received intensive care, second only to the peak of 155 cases in the spring.
Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer, Tony Holohan, said in a statement on Monday: “We know that we were hospitalized within a few weeks of the confirmed case and died again later.” “Unfortunately, this means we It will take a while for the condition of the hospital to get better, and then it gets better.”
According to OECD data, Ireland has only 5 intensive care beds per 100,000 people, far below the OECD average of 2212.
According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, so far, the country has reported more than 152,000 Covid-19 cases and 2,352 deaths.
Nolan, chairperson of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modeling Advisory Group, said that for the recent surge, the tools to solve “accelerated growth” are in Ireland.
He added that he hopes the current measures will “significantly curb the spread of the virus.”