'It is worrying': Cork GP anticipates very busy Christmas

Dr Paul O’Sullivan said he was concerned about the acceleration of Covid-19 cases and positivity rates over recent days.
'It is worrying': Cork GP anticipates very busy Christmas

Dr Paul O’Sullivan has said he was concerned about the acceleration of Covid-19 cases and positivity rates over recent days.

A CORK GP said he feared that Christmas would be twice or three times as busy this year in comparison to normal.

Dr Paul O’Sullivan has said he was concerned about the acceleration of Covid-19 cases and positivity rates over recent days.

“We all do our out-of-hours shifts over the Christmas period and it is all hands on deck. It is like D-Day. Christmas is normally busy anyway but, unfortunately, it is going to be double or triple busier this year,” said the Bantry GP.

Dr O’Sullivan said he and his colleagues are not looking forward to working over the Christmas period due to the significant rise in cases in recent days.

“We are anticipating a very busy Christmas and new year. It is starting to ramp up. You can feel the tempo,” Dr O’Sullivan said.

“None of my colleagues are looking forward to working this Christmas. It is getting busier. People are not sicker, but more people are getting symptoms and sickness,” he said.

Dr O’Sullivan said the Omicron variant was in the locality and it was a lot more infectious than previous variants.

“It is in the locality. It is becoming the dominant sort of agent, even from its behaviour. We are noticing that it is a lot more infectious. We are seeing a lot more referrals for the testing.

“I have noticed that before, when people were positive, you could put them in a room away from everybody else and generally you could keep the risks down, but this is a lot more infectious.

“A lot of people from the same house are coming down with it a few days later,” he said.

Dr O’Sullivan is worried that emergency services in Ireland will run into trouble similar to the UK if the upwards trajectory in cases continues for a prolonged period.

“I was chatting to colleagues in the UK, who warned that we have seen nothing yet. A lot of medical colleagues, paramedics, police, and hospital staff are having to isolate themselves in the UK, which means they are having difficulty keeping services going.

“It is worrying. I think the same thing in a delayed fashion is going to happen here, probably in the new year.”

Dr O’Sullivan said people need to keep following the public health rules and get the booster.

“We are encouraging people to come in and get the booster because, in the new year, we are worried we will be too busy with ordinary general illnesses. It is becoming endemic in the background.

“We need people to get the booster and follow the rules with regard to face masks, social distancing, and handwashing. It is not rocket science but, unfortunately, people tend to forget that.”

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