“An awful lot of infection” in Ireland is currently going undiagnosed, an infectious diseases consultant has warned.
The most recent figures show that the number of hospital patients with the virus has dropped by 23% in a week; currently there are 815 people in hospital with COVID-19 - down from 1,055 on 11th July.
The news prompted Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to tweet that, “The peak of the summer wave has passed thankfully without any need for restrictions.”
Encouraging to see #covid hospital numbers falling. The peak of the summer wave has passed thankfully without any need for restrictions. Hospitals have been very busy. Preparing now for the winter wave. pic.twitter.com/enccfTIzYz
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) July 19, 2022
However, Dr Eoghan de Barra of Beaumont Hospital warned that there is little room for complacency:
“We have a positivity rate of about 30% at the moment for PCR tests - so that’s unacceptablely high, that means we’re missing an awful lot of infection,” he told Newstalk.
“I don’t think we need to have a sudden change in that strategy but we need to have the ability to change.
“Because, again, these variants haven’t posed a huge threat with our vaccinated population.
“But if that were to change, then we need to have the ability to switch that testing system back on.
“We need to have a surveillance system so that we know and can predict what’s going to happen.”
He added that it is still too soon to say for sure if the summer wave is over:
“Of course, with any of the waves we only really know when we have consistent falls in numbers.
“And as we know at the moment, we don’t have anything like the level of surveillance that we had in the past.
“But I’d certainly be optimistic and hope that that would be the case,” he concluded.
The Government is now preparing for a winter wave which Mr Varadkar predicts will be “more serious and coincide with flu season.”
Main image: Woman wearing a mask.