'Virus has no memory for good behaviour': HSE CCO urges people of Cork not to sit back despite decrease in Covid-19 incidence 

'Virus has no memory for good behaviour': HSE CCO urges people of Cork not to sit back despite decrease in Covid-19 incidence 

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said that while 'Cork may be good at the moment' people must not 'sit back'. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry has acknowledged the decreasing incidence of Covid-19 in Cork, but says people must be careful not to become complacent as he warned the incidence of the virus could increase again.

Speaking to the Echo, Dr Colm Henry said that the virus has “no memory” for good behaviour or good performance.

“One lesson we have learned is you can't bank credit with the virus. Look at Ireland- we were the best in Europe [at a period] in December, we were the worst in mid-January. The virus has no memory for good behaviour or good performance. All it does is exploit every opportunity to allow itself to transmit from person to person. Cork may be good at the moment and fair play to the people of Cork for doing that, but don't sit back,” he said.

Dr Henry said that while there are reasons to be positive, there are also reasons to be concerned, particularly in terms of the B117 variant.

“We are seeing much more transmission among close contacts, we are seeing positivity rates of about 25 per cent, household close contacts of about 33 per cent- that indicates that as was predicted that particular strain is much more transmissible. I’m afraid that part of the message is not good. We all have to remain vigilant, 2 metres apart, wearing the mask, maintaining social distancing, holding it together until the vaccine rolls out because that gives us more options,” he said.

Latest figures show the Covid-19 incidence rate per 100,000 people has remained lower in every local electoral area (LEA) in Cork than the national figure for the second successive week. 

The new figures from the Covid-19 data hub show relate to cases reported from February 16 to March 01. 

Nationally, the Covid-19 incidence rate per 100,000 people currently stands at 201.2, down from the figure of 240.4 reported last week. 

Local Covid-19 data 

All the local electoral areas in both the city and county comfortably came in well under this national figure. 

Only one Cork local electoral area recorded an increase in both the number of positive cases and incidence rate with Cork City South Central recording a small increase in positive cases, as they moved from 43 to 45 confirmed cases. Their incidence rate also marginally increased from 111.2 to 116.4.

The results in general are very positive for Cork residents with the numbers of positive cases and incidence rates significantly dropping in all the other 14 local electoral areas. 

The highest 14-day incidence rate recorded in Cork remained in the Mallow LEA which had an incidence rate of 133.8. A total of 39 cases were reported there in the 14 day period.

The Bandon/Kinsale LEA recorded the second-highest incidence rate during the same period at 118.1 and reported 44 cases.

The Cork City South Central LEA recorded the third-highest incidence rate at 116.4 which represents a marginal increase on their previous 14-day tally of 111.2. They reported 45 positive cases.

The Bantry/West Cork LEA recorded an incidence rate of 84.7 and 19 cases.

Returning to the city, the Cork City North East LEA recorded an incidence rate of 73.5 and 31 cases.

The Cork City South East LEA reported a 14-day incidence rate of 63.1 and 27 cases.

The Fermoy LEA reported an incidence rate of 57.7 and 21 cases.

The incidence rate in the Midleton LEA, which also includes Youghal, was 50.6 with 23 cases.

The Cork City North West LEA recorded an incidence rate of 49.8, and reported 20 cases from February 16 to March 1. 

The 14-day incidence rate in the Cobh LEA was 49.8, with 17 cases recorded.

The Kanturk LEA recorded an incidence rate during the same period at 48.1 and reported 12 cases.

The latest 14-day Covid-19 incidence rate in Cork City South West LEA was 44.6 and 21 cases.

The Carrigaline LEA recorded an incidence rate of 42.7 and 15 cases.

The Macroom LEA area had an incidence rate of 40.7 with 15 cases recorded.

The Skibbereen LEA had the lowest 14-day Covid-19 incidence rate in Cork per 100,000 peopel with an incidence rate of 26.4 and 6 positive cases recorded in the latest two-week period. 

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