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2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone.

But this has also been a year of very significant medical and scientific achievement.

And now, at least two #COVID19 vaccines are on the horizon.

(a thread)
Many are now asking, how has it all happened so quickly? make sure the vaccine is safe and effective, and to make enough of it for everyone who needs it.

There are several reasons why this timeline has been really cut down for #COVID19 vaccine candidates;
1. There have been enormous levels of investment and scientific and medical research, on a scale never previously seen in vaccine development.
Read 13 tweets
The exponential growth in SARS-CoV-2 infection in Ireland should make each and every one of us stop, think, and resolve again to do our part to suppress the virus, now and quickly. 1/7 Image
The call to action is the same as it has been for weeks, but much more urgent now: radically limit our discretionary social contacts, maintain physical distance and safe practices when we do meet, self-isolate and call for help with any symptoms of COVID-19. 2/7 Image
We have seen rising cases, now we are seeing rapid increases in the number of people admitted to hospital and ICU. 3/7 Image
Read 7 tweets
How are we doing? The number of new cases per day remains high. It’s possible that incidence is rising more slowly in recent days, but it’s too early to tell. If we are starting to suppress the virus again, take this as encouragement to maintain and redouble our efforts. 1/7
It’s important to look at Dublin separately. This is daily incidence per 100,000 population for Dublin, Kildare-Laois-Offaly, and the remaining 22 counties. If every county had an incidence of 5 per 100,000, it would translate into about 250 cases a day across the country 2/7
Incidence remains high in Dublin, and is rising in the rest of the country. If we look at 14-day cumulative incidence for individual counties of interest, we can see high incidence in Dublin, and the recent rapid increase in Donegal 3/7
Read 8 tweets
There has very understandably been a particular focus on Dublin over the past few days.

However, most other counties are also seeing increasing numbers of cases of #COVID19. Three in particular are already high and continuing to rise fast; 1/n
14 day incidence 53/100,000 last Sunday; 102/100,000 this evening
131 cases in last fortnight

26/100,000 last Sunday; 84/100,000 this evening
133 cases in last fortnight

55/100,000 last Sunday; 89/100,000 this evening
103 cases in last fortnight
It is vital that people in all counties, but in these in particular, do all they can to break chains of transmission over the next 7 days. We are not powerless in dictating the course of this disease;
1. Wash your hands regularly
2. Take a step back and keep your distance
Read 5 tweets
Y'day I watched in horror as this motley crew were herded through Dublin city centre. Their shepherds, a malevolent gang of fascists and conspiracy theorists. They screamed & boo-ed at me as I stood outside Trinity College, the university I graduated from as a medical doctor.
I returned from working abroad at the start of Covid-19 lockdown. I felt I was answering the call of home. I could help and I dropped everything to come back and support our already strained HSE.
I felt some sense of pride returning to the country I love, my home, to do my bit and join in the national effort against Covid-19. I have cared for Covid-19 patients. I have watched and rejoiced as they recovered. I have also grieved when they died, surrounded by strangers.
Read 7 tweets
Minister of Education @NormaFoleyTD1 must clarify her extraordinary assertion on @RTE_PrimeTime that secondary school children who don't wear masks in school will be "sent home" @downesr #rtept #Covid19Ireland
Her own @Education_Ire guidelines online are unequivocal: "It is not practical for students to wear masks properly for the duration of a school day"
Has the Minister read her own guidelines? @merrionstreet @fiannafailparty #BackToSchool
Sending a child home is a de facto suspension. NEWB handbook for schools (supplied to every school in Ireland) draws on Education Act 1998 & Education (Welfare) Act 2000. Suspension is only to be imposed in "exceptional circumstances" but due process & natural justice must apply.
Read 15 tweets
The number of #COVID19 cases that we have now in Ireland is substantially more than we were seeing even just a few weeks ago.

On average over the past 5 days we have reported 96 new cases. Our 14 day incidence now stands at over 23 per 100,000. 1/12

While we are still in a relatively good position compared to many countries, our upward growth rate is now the 3rd highest among EU member states. 2/12
While there has been a particular focus on Kildare, Laois and Offaly in recent weeks, 11 other counties have a 14 day incidence above 10/100,000 – these are Carlow, Clare, Donegal, Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Tipperary and Wexford. 3/12
Read 12 tweets

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