Coronavirus Ireland: “We must avoid entering a spiral of fear” – Tanaiste Leo Varadkar says the delta surge will be “different from other waves”

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said 1,000 or 2,000 cases per day at this stage of the pandemic is not the same as such a level of cases “in January”.

We said the “link” between infections and hospitalizations had been “significantly weakened” due to the vaccine rollout.

Speaking to reporters at Dublin Castle, Mr Varadkar said cases “will increase dramatically over the next few weeks” but there should be no “fear spiral”.

“It’s a wave happening but it’s a wave we can resist.

“But I think we need to avoid getting into a fear spiral here. The Delta wave is happening, but it will be different from other waves.

He said even if the numbers in intensive care tripled, they would still stay below 50.

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Mr Varadkar said lifting all restrictions, including social distancing and wearing masks in the UK on July 19, is “too risky”.

He warned that if “things go wrong” across the pond, there will be a “spillover effect” here.

“The prospect of seeing crowded theaters in the West End and crowded nightclubs in Manchester crowded to the brim would concern me, to be quite frank, in this country.

“If things go wrong in England it will have a ripple effect in Ireland,” he added.

It comes as infectious disease expert Professor Sam McConkey has said the number of daily new cases of Covid-19 will “definitely” rise to 1,000 per day over the next three to six weeks.

Professor McConkey said he was not sure it would happen by July 19, but said it would, adding that this fourth wave of infections would be “very different” from the others.

“I think the number of Delta’s cases will definitely go up to 1,000, I don’t know if it will be by July 19, but I think it will be maybe in three to six weeks.

“I think it will be very different from the first, second and third waves in Ireland as it will mainly affect healthy young people and we know they don’t get as much hospitalization, illness, death or intensive care. , the good thing is.

“We have very high vaccination rates among vulnerable people and the elderly in Ireland, which I hope will protect them considerably, but what worries me is that around 5% of young people who contract Covid will exhibit some of the persistent post-Covid symptoms.

“We know there are clots and heart problems, strokes and various other manifestations that last for months and maybe even years after,” Professor McConkey told Newstalk radio.

While Professor McConkey expects a significant increase in cases in the coming weeks, he does not anticipate a scenario in which Irish health services are put under great pressure as a result.

“I expect him to deal with it adequately because there will be a lot less oxygen demand and a lot less respiratory failure. I don’t see this as the kind of existential threat to the survival of our health service that we certainly feared in the first, second and third waves.

“We have seen with this variant in England, UK and a little bit in Northern Ireland, there are a large number of cases but much less severe respiratory failure and hospitalization,” said Professor McConkey.

Whether Ireland is too conservative in its reopening is a debate for the government on “the national appetite for risk”, believes Professor McConkey.

“It’s a risky world we all live in and we don’t like to talk about it. Once our risk of [Covid] becomes similar to other risks such as roads, which we take every day, so my point is that we should seriously consider… that opening up and having a similar risk of Covid is okay.

“It’s a decision for the nation, we need a public debate on our risk appetite. Are we as a society prepared to accept these risks? Mr. McConkey said.

The infectious disease consultant said the UK’s decision to go ahead with their reopening was a “politically motivated” move that carries risks. He said he was “surprised” by the decision of the government of Boris Johnson.

“They’re not saying to go back as if it was in 2019, but rather move on to individual responsibility and while there may be enough knowledge about the virus to do so in many areas, I don’t not think it will be enough. I think we’re going to see a lot of cases in the UK, ”Prof. McConkey said.

It comes as WHO’s Dr Mike Ryan said the world is leaving people “with hundreds of times more likely to die from Covid, unvaccinated” while vaccinating younger people who are at much lower risk. infection.

“The problem at the minute is that vaccines are distributed so unevenly that countries do not have an extremely important tool in their arsenal.

“It is very, very clear in this pandemic that is in danger of dying. If you’re over 65 with an underlying disease, you’re hundreds of times more likely to die, literally hundreds of times more likely to die than an infected 20-year-old.

“Yet we are busy vaccinating those who have a very unlikely, if any, chance of dying. The reality is that there are people who are at significant risk, and I mean at significant risk of dying, and we leave them unvaccinated, ”said Dr. Ryan.

About Cheryl Viola

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