Coronavirus curve starting to bend but needs to bend more - HSE chief clinical officer

Intensive care unit admissions not as steep as health service feared a couple of weeks ago, Colm Henry says

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer HSE. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer HSE. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

 

The curve setting out the number of people of people contracting coronavirus is beginning to bend but needs to bend more, the HSE’s chief clinical officer has said.

Dr Colm Henry said the trends on admissions to hospital intensive care units were not as steep as health service chiefs feared a couple of weeks ago. However he warned it was too early to say how sustained such a development would be.

Speaking on the Claire Byrne Live programme on RTE television on Monday he said based on the actions and engagement and unity of people of Ireland, there had been some positive trends in the past few days.

“The curve is bent but it needs to bend more.”

“There are promising signs that all the work that everyone has done, the distancing , the staying at home, the handwashing, all the things that were being drummed into us for the past month, there are signs that we are now seeing a return on the investment. But there is more that needs to be done.”

He said it was clear that the curve would have to bend more before consideration could be given to lifting restrictions.

Dr Henry said public health chiefs were not not looking at lifting restrictions on a geographic basis at the moment.

“That could come into play depending on how successful we are in the next five to ten days when we see how much that curve is being bent.”

“Everyone clearly would like to see the restrictions even being lifted a bit to allow some semblance of normality to return to society . But to do so, we have to have confidence that we are able to identify quickly, test quickly and hunt down quickly the virus where ever it raises its head and stamp it out it before it transmits and causes damage particularly among vulnerable and frail people.”