HSE Chief Paul Reid has said it is a “concerning trend” that many people are ignoring calls from contact tracers.
Reid took to Twitter to voice his concerns. “There’s an increasing & concerning trend of some people not answering calls from our contact tracers. These teams are a valuable resource to protect you and the spread of the virus. Please take their call.”
There's an increasing & concerning trend of some people not answering calls from our contact tracers. These teams are a valuable resource to protect you and the spread of the virus. Please take their call. @HSELive #COVID19
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) December 28, 2020
This warning comes as GPs have reported a huge increase in referrals for Covid-19 tests. Dublin GP Dr Ray Walley said there was a 50 per cent increase in calls to the out-of-hours service D Doc on Christmas Day and a 100 per cent increase on St Stephen’s Day compared with last year.
Walley said “Seventy per cent of those calls were Covid-related, which explains obviously why the numbers have greatly increased… D Doc covers virtually all of Dublin” (Per The Irish Times).
Covid-19 cases are expected to surge in the coming days as Ireland gets to grip with the third wave of coronavirus. With the number of people being admitted into hospital growing every day, there is real concern for the HSE.
The fact that so many people are being sent for tests and a rise in people ignoring calls from contact tracers makes for alarming news. These concerns are shared by Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Speaking at a cabinet meeting yesterday, he said rapidly rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the run-up to Christmas were also of concern.
The Taoiseach also defended the new measures put in place to help curb infections. “We have introduced very severe level 5 measures. The only areas not covered are non-essential retail, the impact of which has been shown to be not huge, and (the decision not to reintroduce) the five-kilometre from home restrictions.”
Despite all of these concerns, Ireland starts vaccinating people today. Annie, a grandmother from Dublin will be the first one to receive the vaccine.