'This is disappointing' - Monaghan GP seeing 'definite rise' in COVID cases

A Monaghan-based GP says there has been a definite rise in positive coronavirus cases there. Dr I...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.43 9 Jul 2021

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'This is disappointing' - Mona...

'This is disappointing' - Monaghan GP seeing 'definite rise' in COVID cases

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.43 9 Jul 2021

Share this article

A Monaghan-based GP says there has been a definite rise in positive coronavirus cases there.

Dr Illona Duffy was speaking amid concerns that the spread of the Delta variant will likely 'outpace' vaccine supplies in coming weeks.

That's according to recent HSE modelling that predicts cases numbers will rise in July and could reach a peak in August.


Dr Duffy told Newstalk Breakfast the trends are concerning.

"We're definitely seeing a rise, we must have gone almost two months with no positive cases in our practice.

"And already this week we've had three - we're definitely seeing a rise in the number of people who are ringing us and requiring testing, they've got COVID-type symptoms.

"And we're also aware that many patients are self-referring; they're going online [and] registering or they're walking into the test centres.

"The test centres are reporting to us, the local one here in Co Monaghan, they're saying that their rates in the last fortnight have rapidly increased with people attending for testing.

"So clearly people themselves are concerned and worried that they may have COVID.

"We're also hearing more stories and having contact from more patients who have been advised that they are close contacts of positive cases.

"This is kind of disappointing because we had seen again such a drop and it seemed to be continued and sustained".

Impact on the health service

Dr Duffy says any knock-on effects from a surge in cases are concerning.

"Every time we see a wave we know that it impacts on the health service - not only on general practice... but more importantly we know every time there's a wave, we see other services close down.

"That is impacting on their healthcare, and it's something that's probably making us in general practice even more busy because we're the last port of call.

"So people turn to us because they can't get the tests or the delay in getting what's meant to be followed up in the hospital setting.

"And that's going to be the concern again: that we'll see hospital services having to close temporarily again, impacting on people not only because of COVID but because of the non-COVID medical problems they have".

'This is disappointing' - Monaghan GP seeing 'definite rise' in COVID cases

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Incidence rates

On Monday, the country's 14-day incidence rate was just under 122 cases per 100,000 people.

But three areas around the country have rates that are over five-times the national average.

Buncrana in Co Donegal has a rate of 881 cases per 100,000 people - over seven times the national average - with one in every 114 people testing positive.

Dungarvan in Co Waterford is the second highest in the country, with an incidence rate of 771.

The third highest is Carndonagh, also in Donegal, at 625.

That is followed by Limerick City North at 389, and Letterkenny - again in Donegal - at 369.

While infectious disease specialist Professor Sam McConkey has previously suggested accelerating vaccines will not stop the Delta variant from spreading.

He told Newstalk we can't outrun Delta, but can hopefully mitigate its impact.

"I'm hoping it will outrun a lot of the mortality and morbidity - the Delta variant is already here unfortunately, it's already spreading.

"So it won't outrun and get rid of the cases, there'll still be a surge in cases.

"But I'm hoping they'll mostly be in younger people and won't have that conversion onto hospitalisation and death.

"So I think it's impossible to completely outrun the Delta variant - we've left things open - we've chosen as a nation not to go down the zero-COVID route.

"Once you've done that, then inevitably it's here and it's spreading and it's growing.

"But what I'm hoping is - and what we're seeing in England - is that the hospitalisation rate is very low from it, the death rate from it is also very low".

The latest update on the vaccine rollout shows 70% of the adult population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

While two million people are now fully vaccinated in Ireland.

Main image: Staff at a rapid Covid antigen testing station in Collins Barracks, Dublin ahead of a pilot music festival in Kilmainham. Picture by: Sam Boal /

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