During a National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) briefing, Professor Philip Nolan stated that it’s uncertain as to when Covid-19 case numbers will begin to fall.
He said that modelling suggests that it will happen relatively soon during this month, however, waning vaccine efficacy has not been taken into account yet.
He added that it’s very hard to determine how many people have become infected that NPHET isn’t aware of because they were asymptomatic infections.
“One set of models shows a peak or a plateau developing in late November into early December, and cases declining from that point, but other models show later, longer, higher and much slower to decline peaks”.
Nolan said that unless the force of infection is brought down over the coming weeks “we’re really going to struggle to control this virus for months to come through our winter”.
With regards to antigen testing, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan said that it’s not reliable enough in low-incidence situations but Ireland is now in that situation.
Saying that they were an add-on and not a replacement, Holohan said that the concern about antigen testing is what the appropriate circumstances are.
He said that people are getting antigen tests when they are symptomatic which he described as being very unsafe.
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