Covid endgame: ‘The writing was on the wall for the last week’

With cases falling and rules easing, what happens next and what will become of Nphet?

The late shift medical staff at St Vincent’s hospital, Dublin,  don PPE in the clean zone on the Covid side of the Emergency Department in April 2020. Photograph: Alan Betson

The late shift medical staff at St Vincent’s hospital, Dublin, don PPE in the clean zone on the Covid side of the Emergency Department in April 2020. Photograph: Alan Betson

In the days after Christmas, as Omicron cases surged, a senior official said it felt like putting one’s hand on the door, trying to tell if there was a dangerous fire on the other side.

Thanks to Christmas, data reporting gets interrupted, and systems for tracking the disease get less reliable. During that time, the official said, you will only know you’re really in trouble if the door bursts into flames – like last winter.

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