Cork coping 'reasonably well' with Covid-19 but 'worrying' trends emerging

Cork coping 'reasonably well' with Covid-19 but 'worrying' trends emerging

Dr Corinna Sadlier, Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Cork University Hospital. Pictures Gerard McCarthy Photography. 

EXPERTS have warned the Covid-19 situation is fragile and what we do now is going to influence the next wave.

Cork has the second-lowest 14-day incidence rate of confirmed cases per 100,000 population nationally, but Dr Mary Favier, Covid-19 advisor to the Irish College of General Practitioners, said while Cork is doing “reasonably well” this “could change very, very quickly”.

“We are already starting to see a small increase in infections in the over 65s, we’ve seen an increase in the death rate, and there is a real sense of ‘are we returning to where we were’?” said Dr Favier. 

Dr Corinna Sadlier, consultant in infectious diseases at Cork University Hospital added: “What’s worrying now are the trends we are seeing nationally. We know the country is very connected.”

Latest figures show that 67 cases of Covid-19 were reported in Cork in the 14 days up to last Wednesday.

Nationally, 2,816 Covid-19 cases were reported in the same 14-day period with much of the cases concentrated in Dublin.

Dr Sadlier said she is concerned that “there is a reservoir in the community of people who are asymptomatic, who don’t know that they have this infection, that are potentially spreading it” to others.

“The big concern is, as we’ve seen internationally, the numbers are higher in younger people at the moment, but things are very interconnected,” she said..

“No-one is intentionally transmitting the virus. The key thing is you could have no symptoms but we always need to consider that we could have this virus and we could spread it and there are consequences unfortunately.”

Dr Sadlier added that the situation is different now from a health service perspective than it was last March and added that what happens at a societal level is key at this time.

“What we do now is going to influence the next wave; whether it’s going to be a small blip, or whether we end up with a surge like we did back in March,” she said.

Dr Favier agreed, saying: “We need to change our behaviours and that’s about looking at what your activities are across the week and saying: ‘Do I really have to do all of them?’

“‘Could I maybe just do one class, not go to training as well?’, ‘Not meet friends two nights, maybe just one’ and reduce it all back.”

Ivan Perry, professor of public health and head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College Cork, said that he was also concerned that things could change quite quickly.

“It just takes one or two super spreader-type events that are not dealt with for things to get out of hand fairly quickly,” said Prof Perry.

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