Infectious diseases consultant Dr Paddy Mallon has criticised the lack of policies directed at maintaining efforts to suppress Covid-19.
When cases were low during the summer there had been an opportunity to introduce policies to keep numbers low, he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.
The State should not have been biding time until the figures went high again.
Dr Mallon said that while the testing system was good, contact tracing needed some work, specifically more insight into from where cases were coming.
“Isolation is the key, it is how to stop the virus in its tracks, there is a lot more that could be done. We need to get this virus under control, get numbers down and keep them low.”
Dr Mallon said that the community had “bought in” to Level 5 restrictions, that was a good reflection of the society we live in, he said and the impact of that was beginning to be felt.
But he warned “where we are now is far off from a safe place.”
The slight improvement in the number of cases did not mean that the public could let down their guard. The number of cases was still well above the target figure and it was going to be difficult to reduce them to where they needed to be, he said.
The key to stopping the increase in cases is a good policy. Correcting what went wrong.
Dr Mallon also expressed concern about the growing numbers of patients he is seeing with ‘Long Covid’ - patients who had not been hospitalised, who were aged from 20s to 50s, were in good health, but were now struggling to recover.
“That is a real concern. We can’t afford to live with the virus. We need to get this virus under control and keep it low.”