Cork GP 'concerned' about new Covid-19 cases; 77% of new positive tests in under-25 age group

Cork GP 'concerned' about new Covid-19 cases; 77% of new positive tests in under-25 age group
Ben Birchall/PA Wire

A CORK GP has said he is "concerned" following the news that there has been an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases over the past two weeks. 

The Department of Health confirmed at the press briefing yesterday evening that an additional 23 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in Ireland, bringing the total number of cases to 25,565.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said the R-number is now at or above 1.

"There is an immediate need for all of us to take care and caution in our decisions and actions," he said.

Of additional note, all of the confirmed new cases announced were under the age of 44, with 77% under 25.

Speaking to The Echo, Fianna Fáil councillor and former Lord Mayor, Dr John Sheehan, said the public must remain vigilant against the virus. 

Cllr John Sheehan.Pic; Larry Cummins
Cllr John Sheehan.Pic; Larry Cummins

"It is slightly concerning in the sense that we’ve done really well as a nation and particularly Cork has done extraordinary well due to the efforts of so many people.

"The fear always was with the opening up of everything that there would be an element of complacency but also an element of frustration for people who have pent up energy – we were always going to get some element of an increase.

People wear face masks in Cork city to protect themselves from Covid-19. Picture: Andy Gibson
People wear face masks in Cork city to protect themselves from Covid-19. Picture: Andy Gibson

"They are small increases, but increases that we all need to be mindful of."

Speaking at the Department of Health press briefing yesterday evening, Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, highlighted that nobody is immune from contracting Covid-19, regardless of age.

"Nine of these cases are also linked to groups that have met up."

"I want to re-iterate that this is not about targeting a particular age group or about blame, it really is about protecting each other and re-iterating the point that we can all get on with the activities that we want to do but we need to do so safely within the context of the pandemic," he said.

"If we try to go back to where we were last January, it is only a matter of time before we face significant problems with this disease," Dr Glynn added.

Dr Sheehan, who runs a GP surgery in Blackpool, said he is not surprised that the age profile of those contracting the virus has gone down significantly.

"The elderly have been fantastic in terms of their adherence to the guidelines and cocooning. 

"Young people by their very nature tend to be out and about more and tend to meet more people so it wasn’t a huge surprise that the age profile has gone down," he told The Echo

Dr Sheehan stated that people need to realise that Covid-19 "hasn’t gone away" and added that "complacency is a challenge".

Of the new cases reported by the Department of Health, 15 were directly or indirectly related to travel.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer , Department of Health pictured at this evening media ..Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer , Department of Health pictured at this evening media ..Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Dr Glynn urged the public to avoid all non-essential overseas travel.

"Now is not the time to be going abroad," he said. 

Dr Sheehan also expressed concerns over the number of cases related to travel and said that Ireland needs to continue to be guided by public health advice.

"Unfortunately, in America, we can see the consequences of perhaps not adhering to that advice and opening up too soon. 

"That leads to a rebound effect and a much bigger challenge."

There were six additional Covid-19 related deaths confirmed yesterday, bringing the death toll to 1,743.

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