Cork GP: People think Covid-19 is 'something that's not going to happen to them'

Dr Ronan Glynn reminded people that there is no charge for GP or testing services concerning Covid-19.
Cork GP: People think Covid-19 is 'something that's not going to happen to them'

Dr Doireann O'Leary said the winter flu season will be very busy with the common cold, influenza and Covid-19. File image

A survey of GPs shows the majority of patients who contacted them with coronavirus symptoms within the last week had not self-isolated.

38 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed last night bringing the total to 26,065 and there were no deaths in the last 24 hours.

The median age is 30 while 82% are under 45 years of age.

The acting chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, yesterday said that “the importance of isolating as soon as you have any flu-like symptoms cannot be overstated.

“Without this individual action, we simply will not break the chains of transmission and we will put many people at risk of infection,” he said, adding a reminder that there is no charge for GP or testing services concerning the virus.

Cork GP, Dr Doireann O'Leary, today said there is a worrying rise in the number of people not taking their symptoms seriously.

Dr O'Leary said: "If I'm speaking to a patient in a telephone consultation and they are describing the symptoms to me, if I say that they need a Covid test, most people are surprised by it. 

They are saying they probably have hay fever or just a typical common cold.

"People do seem to think that it's something that's not going to happen to them, so because of that, they aren't isolating."

She said this means it can be difficult to convince people they need a test, along with the added hurdle of telling people they need to self-isolate.

Dr O'Leary said she didn't think people were being deliberately careless or reckless but that there is "a real sense among people that this virus isn't something that's going to affect them or their lives".

She added: "It has been challenging to really get the public to take on board that this could happen to them."

She said this had been "eye-opening" given that people are aware of the prevalence of coronavirus in Ireland.

Dr O'Leary said the winter flu season will be very busy with the common cold, influenza and Covid-19.

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