Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE, Colm Henry, has urged to the general public to reduce their social contacts amid the Covid-19 pandemic as the country’s health services are “severally stretched” in the efforts to contain the virus.
He further stated that people should try to reduce their number of interactions by up to 50 percent in the coming Christmas period, this is as there continues to be a surge in the number of cases nationwide.
“We are worried, not just about the hospital system, but the whole healthcare system is severely stretched now and under strain right through from our testing and tracing system, which is now testing huge numbers per day because there’s lot of seasonal viruses going around at the minute that mimic Covid-19.
He continued: “There’s also a 40 percent increase in the number of cases of Covid-19 out there. GPs are under huge pressure and our hospitals are under pressure at a time when they’re delivering the whole range of normal services and catching up on waiting lists.”
Uncertainty around hospitals
Henry further stated the next two weeks poses “great uncertainty in relation to hospital admissions, and whilst numbers are not as bad as the were earlier in the year, there is still going to be an increased number of people needing hospital beds for Covid related illness.
The governments first defence in trying to slow to spread of the virus is through the reduction of community transition. This is where they are appealing to the limiting of social contacts amid the reopening of the hospitality sector;
The first line of defence is people stopping transmission out in the community and I would appeal to anybody to think about the coming week and the number of contacts and nights out you’ve planned and halve them. You can transmit the virus even if you’ve been vaccinated.
He further stated that taking this social responsibility to reduce a person’s number of contact, may prevent a person’s chances of receiving or spreading the illness.
Henry further stated that taking personal responsibility in attempting to spread the virus may be our last resort before the government has to reconsider official restrictions.
“Nobody wants to go back to social restrictions but our individual behaviour, the choices we make and way we engage with each other can influence the way this virus transmit and can reduce the number of cases and that is within our gift still,” Henry concluded.