Covid contact tracers tracking positive cases on 30 flights per day

ireland
Covid Contact Tracers Tracking Positive Cases On 30 Flights Per Day Covid Contact Tracers Tracking Positive Cases On 30 Flights Per Day
Social gatherings such as weddings are also contributing to increased transmissions, the HSE’s national lead for testing and tracing said. Photo: File image.
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Vivienne Clarke

Contact tracers are following up on positive cases of Covid-19 on up to 30 flights per day, the HSE’s national lead for testing and tracing has said.

Niamh O’Beirne told RTÉ radio’s Today show that when a positive case was linked to travel, they had to track and trace the other passengers in the two rows in front, behind and to the side of the infected person.

This could be up to 500 people over the 30 flights, she said.

Ms O’Beirne said the level of transmission on flights was quite low and in the majority of cases connected to flights, it was “most likely” that the people had already been infected before they got on board.

There were 110 to 120 outbreaks per week, she explained, with the majority from social gatherings and workplaces. Travel constituted about 7.5 per cent of cases recently, with a range of five per cent to 10 per cent.

Workplace cases

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With regard to workplace cases, these were related to a return to the workplace, transport, people going to work who were symptomatic and people moving around the office during breaks.

Ms O’Beirne urged people to continue to wear their mask once they get up from their desk and to observe social distancing measures.

Social gatherings such as weddings are also contributing to increased transmissions. In one case, there had been 30 positive cases out of 50 people who attended the wedding.

Having 2,000 cases per day made tracking and tracing a real challenge, she added.

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Ms O'Beirne said identifying close contacts, both those who were vaccinated and unvaccinated, was necessary so they could determine who should get tested. There was also the issue that 20 per cent of people did not know all their contacts.

It comes as the country's five-day moving average of Covid-19 cases has increased by 15 per cent in the past week, with a further 1,758 new cases confirmed on Sunday.

Monday morning saw 259 people with Covid-19 in Irish hospitals, up 248 from Sunday and a 19 per cent increase from last Monday's total.

Meanwhile, a draft of a new roadmap for easing restrictions in Ireland has suggested that social distancing rules could be relaxed if strict targets are met.

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