High Cork Covid figures show people are 'self-aware' by getting tested

Experts believe that there are numerous reasons for the rise in cases, including the latest easing of restrictions last month.
High Cork Covid figures show people are 'self-aware' by getting tested

While the rising numbers are cause for concern, Cork City Councillor and GP Dr John Sheehan believes it shows that the people of Cork are being vigilant. Picture Dan Linehan

EXPERTS are growing worried after 3,826 cases of Covid-19 were reported in Cork in the past 14 days, with 2,160 of these cases reported in the past week.

The figures were released in the Health Protection Surveillance Centre’s fortnightly report, which showed that the incidence rate of the virus has rapidly increased across all age groups, with the highest number of cases among 35 to 44-year-olds (17.6% of cases).

While the rising numbers are cause for concern, Cork City Councillor and GP Dr John Sheehan believes it shows that the people of Cork are being vigilant.

“Although the numbers are high, it shows that people are self-aware and they are going for tests,” Dr Sheehan said.

“We’ve had a good number of patients book tests over the past few weeks and they are being careful and sensible.” 

Dr Sheehan added that the latest report shows evidence that hospitalisations in Cork seem to have “plateaued”.

“At least with the vaccinations and the booster programme rolling out, the numbers in the hospitals seem to have plateaued which is very good. The vaccinations seem to have really made a difference in terms of preventing things from escalating in the hospital network,” he said.

Experts believe that there are numerous reasons for the rise in cases, including the latest easing of restrictions last month.

“I think there’s an element of Covid fatigue among all of us. We’re tired of the whole thing and it’s hard to keep up your guard all of the time,” Dr Sheehan said.

“We were also quite lucky with our summer. The weather was good and it allowed us to gather outdoors. Now, of course, we’re indoors more and the Covid virus loves that.

“Finally, the number of infections of other viruses also increases an awful lot this time of year, which we’ve certainly seen in our practice and in SouthDoc. So, there are probably some people who are sick but think it’s just a usual cold.

“I would encourage anyone who is concerned to go for a Covid test because sometimes it’s hard to know without one.” 

In light of the new figures, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan urged the public to scale back their social contacts at a briefing yesterday evening.

The warning has been echoed throughout the medical community.

“There is no doubt that there is a vulnerability there and if the numbers keep going up and up, the capacities of the hospitals to cope will be under severe strain,” Dr Sheehan said.

“Remember that the things we did at the very start of this - handwashing, face masks, keeping distance - they are the things that will make a difference.”

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