HIQA saying the introduction of Delta at scale is now inevitable “Due to high volume of travel between Ireland & UK (which is currently non-designated), the current system may be ineffective given the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant in the UK.” irishexaminer.com/news/arid-4031…
Our vaccination program has got to about 2/3 of the proportion of the population that the UKs has. Despite their greater coverage reopening indoor hospitality led to cases & now hospitalizations climbing - the north opened a week later & their climb starts a week later
While the situation will improve by July 5 we will still be 2 weeks behind vaccination schedule of reopening & as of now almost no one under 70 has both doses that are needed for good protection against Delta. Few young hospitality workers will even have dose 1 by then
Some think that indoor pint profits are more important than the health of workers & customers because few will be expected to die of the many who become sick. However the health system hasn’t any capacity for 1000s of Covid hospitalizations without cancelling other care /3
A decision on pushing back dates needs to be made very soon to avoid the Xmas situation where owners were on radio saying the opening could not be postponed because they had invested in 30,000 worth of ingredients. We paid a lot for that in lives & months of lockdown /4
I don’t know enough about the industry to know where the balance lies timing wise but the lobbyists rather than pushing for a risky reopening need to push for rolling back the date for a safer opening at an interval that works as we watch things unfold in England & learn /5
Anti-gen testing isn’t the solution here - it’s been massively deployed in the UK and has not controlled Delta (whether it made things better or worse we may be able to learn but it’s certain it’s not a magic bullet). /6
To be clear as with other surges there isn’t a ‘tough it out’ option - trying that will just lead to a new lockdown once healthcare gets overwhelmed. That option only comes into existence once the fully vaccinated proportion is large /7
I’ve been optimistic about progress to date, indeed I think there probably isn’t a need to roll back the current level as outdoors is so much less risky. But it’s very clear that what is happening now in Britain would not be sustainable here & risking it may mean a lockdown /8
I think we are only talking of 2-3 week delay to allow vaccines to catch up to original rollout with a somewhat higher proportion of dose 2s. Only other option I see is indoor hospitality requiring proof of vaccination which is the route apartheid Israel took /9
Could a combination of public health tracking, good weather & luck keep Delta low long enough post July 5th? Maybe, but the risk is an August lockdown if that gamble fails. And we’d need to get to J5 with as few Delta cases as we have now (less than 20 new a week) /10
I don’t think that’s likely for the reasons HIQA outlines. Delta is now spreading in the north & my socials have photos from friends who have gone north & are having those indoor pints. Huge numbers work / live each side of the border /11
This surge would be different, indeed I should be fully vaccinated around July 5th. But I’m increasing uncomfortable with the morality of opening on the basis that most of the risk will now be on younger workers without even dose 1. We are near a safe exit that avoids doing that
As anyone following my daily tracking over the last 3 months will know I’ve been optimistic about progress & potential progress. But that’s been data driven & the data from the UK has been solidifying over the last week to warn us indoors is still trouble.
I’ve also tracked the north in detail every day for months ( back to the Autumn) so spotted the potential shift to case growth earlier in the week - what happens there in the next 2 weeks is what will happen here post July 5th given enormous similarity
Here's a very useful recharge of the HSE vaccination data that shows just how few people are fully vaccinated - with Delta opening up indoors probably means all those bars should first be red & the 4 on the right blue, it all over 50s fully vaccinated
Chile which risked a premature opening on what looked like an impressive 60% vaccination rate now has a healthcare system in crisis & a new lockdown (the article doesn't say but this 60% seems to be of adults, not the entire population). /🧵

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More from @andrewflood

10 Jun
#Covid19Ireland Cautious Reopening plot June 10th with added as red dots
398 cases, 86% last Thursday
70 in hospital, 83% last Thursday
27 in ICU, 90% last Thursday
All indicators below expected with lowest 7 day average since the 17 December turning point to wave 3 /1
45% of population now have partial protection of dose 1 vaccination, 22% have more substantial 'fully vaccinated' protection. These are quite short of where we need be in terms of risking opening of indoor hospitality as we are seeing from England
County data shows alarming situations in Limerick where infection are double those of the next worst hit counties and over 10 times that of those counties doing best /3
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
Jun 9 #Covid19 Cautious Reopening with todays cases lowest this year (but possible BH effect). Added as red dots
259 cases, 64% last Weds
76 hospital, 82% last Weds
27 ICU, 77% last Weds
All well below expected, doing a bit better now than so far so good /1 Image
Also welcome news that Delta has only increased by 11 since last week so no increase in the rate of increase. England & Wales have seen cases double this week due to Delta & indoor hospitality having reopened. We could not afford that sort of rate of increase /2
Donnelly Tweeted an age incidence table that while showing vaccination protection of over 55s as he intended also revealed rising rates of infection in kids, teens & young adults. Almost no one in these groups is vaccinated or likely to be vaccinated any time before indoor pubs Image
Read 6 tweets
8 Jun
#Covid19Ireland June 8th Cautious Reopening with lowest cases in a while (but possibly BH delay effect) , small rise in hospital (+8) & ICU (+1) since yesterday. Plotted as red dots
271 cases, 80% last Tuesday
Hospital 77, 87% last Tuesday
ICU 27, 79% last Tuesday
/1 Image
Hospital admissions for #Covid19 are now available again suggesting an accelerating if still slow decline recently - some protection for over 50s should be kicking in from here so if there is no large increase in cases number in hospital and number going into should fall /2 Image
The expectation is that cases will rise as a result of yesterdays opening in 8-10 days. With Paul Reid saying they are seeing a rapid fall over in over 55s cases with luck we will first see a further fall (which also means fewer to infect now) /3
Read 6 tweets
6 May
467 #Covid19Ireland positive swabs today is 96% of last Thursday despite 21k tests. Positivity at 2.2% - looks quite likely now this weeks swabs will come in under last weeks so a reduction /1
Average of 421 pos swabs over last 3 days which is 96% of same days last week. Projects as a slow reduction which will be accelerated by vaccination
404 wk1
387 wk2
371 wk3
355 wk4 - June 3rd
341 wk5
326 wk6
313 wk7
300 wk8
This is a big deal as it looks likely from GP referrals that we will get to the end of week 5 of the 6 'Vulnerable Period Ahead' weeks below the case levels of March 31st rather than 1200+ cases above that level. There it gets increasingly hard for things to go badly wrong /3
Read 5 tweets
6 May
Lab evaluation of Covid antigen test Lidl are selling on *suspected* Covid subjects (not random)
1 in 27 positive results will actually be PCR negative
1 in 119 negative results will actually be PCR positive
*when* the test is administered by experts
I'd imagine people randomly testing themselves at home if going to reduce those accuracies quite a bit. Also with the negatives the issue that there's about an additional 40% false negative from people testing themselves too soon after infection for it to be picked up
One of the entertaining things about the push for mass use of antigen testing is the conspiracy theorists with wild concerns about the very low rate of false positives from PCR seem strangely keen on tantigen tests that have many times the false positive rate
Read 9 tweets
5 May
435 #Covid19Ireland positive swabs which is 99% of last Wednesdays - note the bank holidays might have artificially depressed that though. Perhaps not as 2.24% positivity on 19,406 tests, only 1000 less than last week
Average of 435 pos swabs over the last 3 days is 98% of same days last week. That fits recent pattern of static cases and projects as
388 wk1
379 wk2
371 wk3
363 wk4 - June 2nd
355 wk5
348 wk6
340 wk7
333 wk8
GP referral data from Tuesday will appear as Weds/Thurs swabs - thankfully not showing a bank holiday extra spike & in fact 'clinically likely Covid' is below every day last week which would suggest swabs in the low 400s. Loth, Galway & Wexford were the hotspots /3
Read 6 tweets

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