The world is in for ‘quite bumpy ride’ in the coming months as the pandemic surges in different areas at different times, according to the WHO.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, WHO Special Envoy Dr David Nabarro said he expects to see surges every two or three months for the rest of the year.
Ireland continues to experience high daily case numbers, with the five-day moving average sitting above 20,000 for five days in a row.
The number of patients in intensive care has remained steady however, with 92 recorded yesterday.
Meanwhile, the number of patients with COVID in hospital fell to 1,055 this morning – down from 1,062 yesterday.
Dr Nabarro said the way the virus transmits lends itself to surges in cases in “very precise geographical areas”.
“What this is going to result in, I suspect, is surges coming at intervals from Omicron or further variants from Omicron,” he said
“It is not going to just, sort of, disappear. We are going to have quite a bumpy ride with surges coming, we believe, every two or three months in the coming few months until, yes, everybody has had it.
“But we won’t get to that point in a very short period of time.”
He said there is nobody in the World Health Organisation who believes six-monthly boosters will be needed moving – although the rest of this year will see continued public health measures around the world
“We are going to continue to encourage people to try and reduce transmission through facemasks distancing and other methods,” he said
“We are going to continue to encourage those who have got positive tests and are symptomatic to isolate.
“We are going to continue to take action on surges and we are going to continue to invite everybody to get vaccinated and have at least one booster dose if that is on offer.
“That is the style in which we will deal with this and we will get through it. It will be a rough time, but I think we will get through it and hopefully we will see a much better life for everybody in 2023.”
You can listen back here.