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Quarter of new Covid cases, close contacts not answering tracing calls

The Health Service Executive is urging folks to have interaction with contact-tracing groups, as a couple of quarter of recent circumstances and shut contacts aren’t answering telephone calls inside 48 hours, whereas  positivity charges climb to 25 per cent in elements of the nation.

Niamh O’Beirne, the HSE’s head of testing and get in touch with tracing, instructed The Irish Times that whereas as much as 98 per cent of “index” an infection circumstances – individuals who had examined optimistic – have been reached with a textual content message, 24 per cent didn’t reply the telephone inside 48 hours.

Furthermore, 26 per cent of shut contacts didn’t reply the telephone inside 48 hours. In each situations, a number of makes an attempt have been made to achieve these involved. About 20 per cent of shut contacts have been additionally not turning as much as day zero and day 10 assessments organised by the HSE, she stated – though she cautioned some would nonetheless be examined as walk-ins or self-referrals in testing centres.

“We are struggling with people not answering the phone before multiple attempts. We’re finding 25 per cent of people are requiring us to make multiple calls, and some going over into the following day,” Ms O’Beirne stated.

‘Containment phase’

Five per cent of shut contacts requested to be known as again one other time.

“At the stage we are at in the pandemic, in the containment phase, it’s really important to contain the spread of the virus. The cases are going up, but we all have a role in controlling the spread at this point,” she stated.

It comes as positivity charges in testing proceed to climb, with the nationwide determine at 10.5 per cent, and a few 16,000 assessments being carried out on samples in the neighborhood each day. Some centres, together with Buncrana, Co Donegal, and Tallaght in Dublin, are recording positivity charges of 25 per cent.

Turnaround instances for testing have remained regular she stated, with the “end-to-end” course of, together with contact tracing, for a optimistic check coming in at a median of two.2 days. The median time to be notified is 1.1 days.

The HSE’s “surge capacity” is about 22,000 assessments per day. With the extent of group testing projected to high 20,000 on present development charges by early subsequent week, the HSE’s back-up plan to change to antigen testing for unvaccinated and asymptomatic shut contacts could also be triggered inside days.

Such a step ought to liberate about 20 per cent of PCR capability once more, Ms O’Beirne stated. Antigen testing will likely be for these over 13 years, she stated, whereas youthful kids will nonetheless be PCR examined.

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