Ireland reached a milestone in the pandemic response today completing 1 million Covid19 tests.

An ungodly amount of work went into it all over 6 months, so I'll shine a spotlight on as many of those people as possible here.

And thank you.
Irish institutions stepped up immediately.

GAA opened their doors up and down the country, from Páirc Uí Chaoimh to Mick Neville Park.

Croke Park was the first drive-through testing center opened in Europe on March 17th.

The GAA made the logistics of testing a lot smoother.
Irish Universities and higher education jumped straight into action.

UCC, UL, NUIG, Athlone, Sligo, Letterkenny and Cork IT UL, facilitated reagents during the global reagent shortage.

Thanks to their effort, thousands of tests were completed.

One example of such effort was Dr. Jeremy Bird, Sligo IT.

When Sligo University Hospital called to see if he could help, answer was basically 'not much'.

Rather than give up, he drove around Ireland scouring college storerooms and the answer became yes.

rte.ie/news/2020/0403…
The Defence Forces underpinned the Irish Covid testing effort in unsung ways.

They had a hand in anything you can think of with 50,000 taskings.

They transported tests to Germany, distributed testing kits from China to hospital labs, couriered swabs around Ireland.
This was overseen by Brigadier General Brian Cleary, leading the Joint Task Force.

The crew of the LE WB Yeats helped in Galway, the crew of the LE Samuel Beckett in Dublin, the crew of the LE Eithne supported the Cork testing drive.

A massive help in the logistical effort.
The National Ambulance Service played a crucial role in the pandemic testing response, both in terms of swabbing, transporting to the NVRL and transporting positive patients.

Advanced paramedics worked tirelessly on this.

irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/arid…
German labs facilitated thousands of Irish test results during the reagent shortage.

They came to the assistance of a dozen EU countries directly and indirectly during that crunch period and their efforts are appreciated, so thank you to Germany.
When you get past the logistical effort, you get to the labs.

365,141 tests were completed in Irish hospitals.

This is a venue where lives are in the balance, speed is important and the Medical Scientists do amazing work under pressure.
636,506 tests were completed in Irish labs such as the NVRL in UCD.

This was a massive undertaking for a brand new disease, with a brand new test.

Once more Medical Scientists did heroic work under pressure in registering, processing, analysing samples.
Perfection is the enemy of good when it comes to emergency responses" - Mike Ryan, WHO.

None of it has been perfect.

There was reagent shortages, false positives, 100 people given wrong results, slow turnaround times of up to 2 weeks during the peak.
Mostly every country has had these problems, too. It is never about perfect, it's about getting it done.

Ireland is the smallest country in Europe to reach 1 million tests.

We are the 2nd smallest country in the World to reach it, after Bahrain.
I don't know how many tens of thousands of cumulative hours went into all of it.

I do know a lot of thoroughly decent human beings put those hours in.

Their efforts often get overlooked in favour of negative stories when things go wrong, as they do in all countries.
Speaking of overlooked, cleaners, refuse collectors, bus drivers, taxi drivers, couriers all played roles.

The last people we tend to think of in logistics are the people with a mop and bucket or taking out the bins, but none of this works smoothly without them.
From Medical Scientists to ambulance crews and everywhere in between, they deserve recognition for their relentless commitment.

More than that it was a testament to solidarity.

It should go down as one of the finest collaborative efforts in the history of the state.

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More from @Care2much18

22 Sep
I know there are days lately when hand washing and social distancing feels a bit futile.

I will try to give a different perspective here and hopefully remind people that all of your efforts for each other these past few months actually achieved a lot.
New cases per 1 million population, last 3 months (June 22nd-Sep 21):

Bahrain 25,530
Israel 18,755
Panama 18,362
Brazil 16,288
Peru 15,364
USA 14,121
Kuwait 14,060
Colombia 13,755
Montenegro 13,502
Argentina 13,188
Qatar 12,648
Oman 12,634
Costa Rica 12,417
Chile 10,496
S. Africa 9,489
Bolivia 9,097
Moldova 8,208
Spain 8,081
Cabo Verde 7,874
Suriname 7,529
Dominican Republic 7,482
Iraq 7,291
Bosnia 6,782
Kyrgyzstan 6,440
Honduras 5,961
Czechia 5,721
N. Macedonia 5,602
Malta 4,863
Saudi Arabia 4,841
Kazakhstan 4,758
Romania 4,706
Paraguay 4,597
Read 17 tweets
20 Sep
After thought, I'll step back from Twitter a little. A few people asked how to support my work, my DM's are open if anybody does. I didn't research threads for 6 months to try get anything out of it, other than to help people.

I'll still be here, touch wood, but not as often.
There's some awesome people on this website who have supported me and I will write a blog post on it when I feel better.

I know I focus too much on the personal abuse I get, so my new approach in the future will be to use the Block button and try not take it so badly :)
I'd encourage people to trust Dr. Glynn. He's a good person, an expert and he is trying to keep people alive.

Ask questions and disagree if the answers are illogical, by all means, but know that his is a discipline of expertise - and he has lots of that.
Read 5 tweets
20 Sep
Ireland's epidemic has been shadowing the trajectory of most European countries, most closely Denmark, but also countries like Spain and Greece.

It's Greece I'm going to focus on, due to a few similarities, to try offer encouragement that recent measures in Dublin can help.
2 months ago on July 20th, this was the picture:

14-day incidence per 100,000:

Spain: 18.0
Ireland: 4.8
Greece: 4.6

Hospital admissions, ICU admissions and deaths were low and stable in all 3 countries.
Over the next month, the virus gained traction as people gradually began to embrace the new normal.

By August 20th, all 3 countries were in identical proportions to July, except with ~6 times more infection:

14-day incidence per 100,000:

Spain: 138.7
Ireland: 25.4
Greece: 25.3
Read 20 tweets
19 Sep
This is irresponsible and has the capacity to cause harm.

The "3 worst" Electoral Divisions in Dublin are the ED's of Connolly Hospital, Tallaght Hospital and St. James's Hospital.

The failure to note why that is, or even offer some sort of caveat, creates a harmful stigma.
Cases are not just tied to a home address.

Electoral Divisions that contain major hospitals can have a disproportionately high infection rate because staff who are in close contact with Covid19 daily are mass-tested on a regular basis.
That doesn't just apply to Dublin, most ED's in Ireland that contain major hospitals have an above average infection rate for their county.

So when you see 67 cases in Blanchardstown and 79 cases in Tallaght in the past 14 days, it doesn't necessarily reflect on the area.
Read 5 tweets
19 Sep
Short thread on some of the available evidence re: restaurants, much of the best data comes from US, which have similar requirements for staff on masks and table layout to Europe.

They have the best data partly because they funded Public Health to 2.5% of all health expenditure.
In Louisiana, 339 recent outbreaks have been traced to source. Restaurants rank as the 2nd most common venue of infection.

By setting:

Industrial setting - 55
Restaurant - 42
Bar - 41
Retail - 31
Meat plant/Food Processing - 29

ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page…
What's most interesting is the average amount of cases associated with restaurant clusters in Louisiana is 4 cases.

Whereas there were fewer meat outbreaks but the average cluster was 25 cases, which again highlights the ease of spread in the cold, ventilated indoor environment.
Read 7 tweets
18 Sep
When viewing a map like this, VERY important to remember how small Ireland is to avoid creating stigma.

Cases are tied to either a work address or home address.

67 cases in Blanch giving a 14-day incidence of 189.8 doesn't mean there's 67 cases involving Blanchardstown natives.
You could have a building site cluster of 30 cases, and it will be tied to Blanchardstown by work address.

But those 30 people can live anywhere in Meath, Louth, Dublin or Kildare, from Dundalk to Ashbourne to Naas to Stepaside, and spin over to work on the site every morning.
Vice versa, a case can be tied to their home address but they may have picked the virus up in work or at a social event miles from where they live or in a different county.

The map is a rough guide but it is never supposed to be used to gauge your risk levels.
Read 4 tweets

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