The director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, Cillian de Gascun, said he expected a further increase in Covid cases in the next week or two due to behaviour in December and Christmas.
He said the latest data should be available in the next day or so, but the trend is for the numbers to rise weekly despite the challenge of people missing tests.
As of 8am this morning there were 686 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in hospital, down from 692 yesterday. As of 11:30 this morning there are 28 confirmed cases of the virus in intensive care units across the country, three more than 25 yesterday.
Speaking to RTÉ, Dr De Gascun that viruses will evolve but when it comes to the spread of the virus or virus variants, it is human behaviour that drives everything as the virus follows the wave of human interaction .
He added that there was a much larger flu-susceptible population in 2022 than before, and it was a “mixed season” because of the types of flu out there, so it was 50/50 whether a younger person or a old person would get the flu means “everybody is getting infected”.
It has been a “perfect storm” in many ways, he said, as many people have not had the opportunity to be exposed to it.
“We did sequence to an extent that wasn’t sustainable, and I would suggest is not really necessary. In the early stages, we were trying to identify novel variants, but at the moment now we’re in an Omicron era so everything we’re seeing is a sub lineage of Omicron,” reports RTE.
In a public inquiry into how the pandemic is being handled, Dr. De Gascun said it was always important to look back on what happened and learn lessons.
“I would sort of be supportive if the Government feels it is required, but I think we have a lot of the lessons already in the context,” he said, reports RTE.
Dr De Gascun said it was all about infrastructure and planning and during Covid Ireland had been “building systems from scratch”.
Now it’s about better preparing for the next pandemic, he added.
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