The Irish College of General Practitioners' Covid spokesperson Dr Mary Favier has warned “the worst is yet to come” with regard to Covid hospitalisations.
There is a two-week lag between people testing positive and needing hospitalisation, she told RTÉ radio‘sshow. This was “very concerning” as the numbers going for testing continued to rise.
Cork-based Dr Favier pointed out that in her own practice there is a 50% positivity rate. There had been a “big surge in requests for tests” prior to Christmas and she had advised people to self-isolate for 14 days who had accused her of “spoiling their Christmas”.
Those people were now calling “feeling very unwell” which indicated there was a much more serious problem, she said.
People should reduce movement “and just stay at home,” she urged.
The hospital system was going to have a difficult time “staying upright”, warned Dr Favier.
There needed to be a national discussion on the issue of childcare, she added.
It frequently “falls to women” to take responsibility for childcare and had to stay out of work. This was going to have a “significant impact” on the health service as 80% of health care workers are women.
Dr Favier also called for allowances to be made for children with special needs or disadvantaged children — for them education services should remain open, she said.
Healthcare workers should also be prioritised in the list of essential workers, she said. It was not right that they were “15th” on the list during a pandemic. “That list needs some prioritisation.”