Up to 500,000 people likely to have COVID in the past week
Up to 500,000 people are likely to have been infected with COVID-19 in the past week, according to Dr Tony Holohan.
In a letter to the government sent Jan. 6, Chief Medical Officer Dr Holohan said the likely prevalence of active infection was between 5.7% and 9.6%, meaning that about a 1 in 20 to 1 in 10 people have been infected with the virus. .
19,290 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Tuesday, although the actual number of cases is believed to be much higher.
“Taking into account the cumulative incidence over 7 days of 2,876 per 100,000, taking into account the constraints on testing and undetected infections, the probable prevalence of active infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the population is from 5.7% to 9.6%; between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 of the population are likely to be infected, ”indicates the letter from the CMO to the Ministry of Health.
The letter from the CMO also says infection rates are highest among people under the age of 45, with 79% of confirmed cases occurring in the cohort. However, the incidence rate continues to increase among all other age groups.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly spoke about Dr Holohan’s letter, while confirming that people who test positive for COVID-19 via an antigen test will no longer need a confirmatory PCR test – which was previously necessary to alleviate a stressed PCR test system.
‘The recommendation is that the confirmatory PCR test be deleted. I think this is very positive, ”said Minister Donnelly. “It makes it easier for people, they don’t have to go for a second test, and it also takes some of the pressure off the PCR system.
‘Obviously, we want people to be able to get these PCR tests as quickly as possible. So this is the first big change, ”he added.
Minister Donnelly also confirmed the reduction in self-isolation periods for everyone – people who test positive for COVID-19 now have to self-isolate for just seven days. Previously, only people who received their booster shots only needed to self-isolate for seven days, with everyone else needing to self-isolate for 10 days.
‘The second which I think will also be welcome is the period of isolation, ”said Minister Donnelly. “So if you get your test and you’re positive right now for those who are boosted, the recommendation is to isolate them for seven days and not to boost them for 10 days.
“The recommendation is that it only becomes seven days for everyone,” he concluded.
Elsewhere, the period of isolation of close contacts who have received their booster injection should be completely waived, provided they are not showing any symptoms of the virus.
‘If you have enhanced immunity, you are currently required to restrict your movement for five days. This requirement would go completely, so no restricted movement if you increased immunity, ”Minister Donnelly said.