GP tracker shows rise in Covid-19 referrals since bank holiday weekend

GP tracker shows rise in Covid-19 referrals since bank holiday weekend
GPs are reporting a three-fold increase in Covid-19 cases since the bank holiday weekend. File Picture.

A Covid-19 tracking tool for GPs has shown a rise in the number of patients reporting with symptoms of the virus since the August bank holiday weekend.

However, doctors have said it is “too early” to say if that represents an upward trend in infections.

The GPBuddy.ie Covid-19 tracker reported a three-fold increase in the number of people being referred to GPs with Covid-19 symptoms since last week.

Throughout July, GPs were reporting an average of 0.45 cases per day and this increased to 1.24 cases per day on Tuesday last, after the bank holiday weekend.

Dublin-based GP Dr Shane McKeogh, one of the founders of GPBuddy.ie and the tracking tool, said a spike after the weekend was not unexpected and that GPs will be watching the figures closely over the next few days to see if the increase represents an upward trend in Covid-19 infections.

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“It could be the beginning of a trend or it could be down to the fact that GP surgeries were closed for three days over the weekend. 

"We are always wary of a single day result so we will want to see what happens after three or four days,” Dr McKeogh said.

“If those numbers persisted for several days, that would be concerning but we need to wait and see. 

"It’s too early to draw conclusions just yet,” he added.

Up to 300 GPs around the country have been feeding into the daily Covid-19 tracker since March 31. The data is also shared with the Department of Health.

“The more GPs we have feeding into the tracker, the better. 

"It takes just 20 seconds to feed information into the tracker and it’s very useful,” Dr McKeogh said.

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