The Irish Government have changed their testing criteria for covid-19:
Patients will have to display two major symptoms – a fever and either a cough or shortness of breath – and fall into a priority group in order to be tested.
Can’t find the testing criteria on their website, if I find it I will post later.
Dr Ray Walley, a member of the National Covid-19 GPs Advisory Committee, said GPs receive “hundreds” of calls a day from people seeking tests.
“Don’t obsess on the testing. The testing is not the most important thing about this. The most important thing is that 80% of patients get mild symptoms. You at the moment are the patient, focus on yourself and the advice.”
I find the Governments new approach to fly opposite to the “South Korean” model that Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar claimed Ireland was following. Ireland is a known “rule taker” in these types of situations.
My only fear is that Ireland is still on the path of pushing for “lockdown” when things get worse. Ireland’s official numbers so far are:
1,329 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland and 7 deaths.
17,992 tests carried out in laboratories across the country, with 93% of tests returning as negative.
As of Sunday 22 March, revealed that 55% are male and 45% are female, with 44 clusters involving 243 cases.
277,29% of confirmed cases, have been hospitalised and, of those, 36 have been admitted to ICU(this is the number I am afraid of increasing it jumped from 6-to 36), 247 cases, 26%, are associated with healthcare workers(also worrying).
Dublin has the highest number of cases with 535, 55% of the total cases, followed by Cork with 123 13%.
The more stringent restrictions to help curb covid-19 growth are as follows:
- All non-essential businesses should close
- Places of worship are to restrict numbers visiting and no unnecessary travel should take place in the country or overseas, now or during the Easter break
- People should stay at home and only leave to: go to work, care for others, essential shopping
- a temporary wage subsidy of 70% of take home pay up to a maximum weekly tax free amount of €410 per week to help affected companies keep paying their employees. This is the equivalent of €500 per week before tax
- workers who have lost their jobs due to the crisis will receive an enhanced emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week (an increase from €203)
- the COVID-19 illness payment will also be increased to €350 per week
- the self-employed will be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 directly from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (rather than the Revenue scheme)
- enhanced protections for people facing difficulties with their mortgages, rent or utility bills
Cafés and restaurants are limited to takeaways and deliveries only. All sporting events are cancelled – including those behind closed doors.
All theatres, clubs, gyms, leisure centres and hair salons are to be shut.
Places of worship are to restrict numbers visiting and no unnecessary travel should take place in the country or overseas, now or during the Easter break.
The Taoiseach said people need to stay at home and only leave to:
- go to work
- go to the shops for essential supplies
- care for others
The following is an indicative list of what are considered essential retail outlets:
- retail and wholesale sale of food, beverages and newspapers in non-specialised and specialised stores
- retail sale of household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and businesses
- pharmacies/chemists and retailers providing pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical or dispensing services
- retail sale of medical and orthopaedic goods in specialised stores
- fuel stations and heating fuel providers
- retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycle repair and related facilities (for example, tyre sales and repairs)
- retail sale of essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including animal feed and medicines, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding
- laundries and dry-cleaners
- banks, post offices and credit unions
- retail sale of safety supply stores (for example, work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment)
- hardware stores, builders’ merchants and stores that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation and farm equipment, supplies and tools essential for gardening/farming/agriculture
- retail sale of office products and services for individuals working from home and for businesses
- retailers providing electrical, IT and phone sales, repair and maintenance services for home