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Monday, October 18, 2021

‘We don’t know why cases are rising all the time’ – O’Neill

Leading Immunologist Professor Luke O’Neill has stated that he doesn’t know why Covid-19 cases are rising all the time.

O’Neill said that although he believes that society needs to reopen at some stage, he doesn’t envy the decision that Cabinet has to make next week in regards to the easing of restrictions on October 22nd.

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“We do need to open up at some point, but I don’t envy the Cabinet decision next week.”

Under the current reopening plan, the majority of Covid-19 restrictions are to be eased by the 22nd of October.

However, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has expressed doubts over the further easing of restrictions taking place on this date due to the significant rise in Covid-19 cases.

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With the five-day moving average now over 1,600, which is an increase of over 500 compared to last week, O’Neill said that there does appear to be concerns among officials over the growing cases while speaking on The Pat Kenny Show.

“The trend is not great, they say. We’re waiting for this final analysis… we haven’t seen some of those numbers. But it does look as though cases are climbing.”

“The question is why this is happening? We’re number seven in Europe now in terms of the number of cases – that’s not a great place to be. We’ve got a lot more cases than, say, Denmark.”

He stated that although cases are not overwhelming hospitals, there are some potential factors behind the spike.

O’Neill stated that approximately 300,000 people over the age of 12 are unvaccinated, however, he added that a “big” reason behind the peak is people failing to isolate when they present symptoms.

O’Neill reassured that there is cause for optimism, which includes no further major variant of concern emerging, which he stated, “gives us a bit of hope that we mightn’t see an even worse one”.

IMAGE – “File:Professor Luke O’Neill FRS.jpg” by Duncan.Hull is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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