Ireland has the highest Covid-19 rate in the world. How did it go wrong?

Last week, the country had one of the highest rates of infection in the world, according to Our World in Data, a scientific online publication based at Oxford University.

In the seven days to January 10, about 1,323 Covid-19 cases per 10 million people were reported in Ireland, figures showing that more than any other country in the same period.

A statement from the Irish Health Department said that on Friday, there was a daily increase in the number of infections since the onset of the epidemic with 8,248 new cases.

Professor Philip Nola, a member of Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), warned, “Our level of covid-19 levels in the community is unprecedented in terms of our experience.” “We see a number of cases every day, and numbers in the hospital, that we wouldn’t have realized before Christmas.”

Ireland’s medical experts, politicians and members of the public are now debating what went wrong.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Michelle Martin’s office said the virus had increased in season, the presence of more transmissible forms in the UK and mixed homes during the holidays.

A spokesman told CNN on Tuesday that the spike was not “easy” and that there were a number of factors that led to it.

“We saw an increase in socialization during the Christmas period and our public health experts said the virus is a big factor.”

Ireland reopened the hospitality and other sectors in Ireland in December with some restrictions, the spokesman said, adding that public health measures included “large amounts” and the risk of infection was “relatively low” in hospitality, retail and construction. Settings.

U.K. No more contagious, which was first discovered in Ireland on Christmas Day, had a very significant effect [on] The growth of cases because it is considered to be 50% to 70% more transmissible, ”the spokesperson added.

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Cillian de Gascon, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said in a statement on Monday that 40% of the recent positive cases of Covid-19 in Ireland were caused by a more contagious disease in the UK.
Since December 18, Irish homes have been allowed to mingle with two others, despite other European countries canceling Christmas gatherings.

More than 54,000 people flew to the Republic of Ireland between December 21 and January 3, according to the Justice Department.

Gabriel Scley, president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine, told CNN by phone on Tuesday that there was no properly operated isolation system. “Ireland and Britain, when you look at the other, are unsuccessful islands in Covid’s view. After a hard year there was a desire to understand compared to Christmas; but the virus doesn’t know it.”

Ireland has closed restaurants, feeding pubs and some shops the day before Christmas and has since tightened its lockdown measures – including closing non-essential construction sites, schools and childcare services.

People walked down Grafton Street in Dublin city center on January 6 after lockdown measures were re-imposed.

According to the Department of Health, there are currently 1,582 patients hospitalized in Covid-19 in Ireland, 146 of whom are in intensive care, slightly shorter than the spring peak of 155.

“We know that confirmed cases are hospitalized a few weeks after the case is reported, and then re-mortality,” Ireland’s chief medical officer Tony Holohan said in a statement on Monday. “It means we have unfortunately prepared for a period where conditions in our hospitals get worse before they get better.”

There are only five intensive care beds per 100,000 people in Ireland, much lower than the average of 12 of the OECD 22.

A total of more than 152,000 Covid-19 cases and 2,352 deaths have been reported in the country so far, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Speaking of the recent spike, the tools to address “this rapid growth rate” are in Ireland’s hands, according to Nolan, chairman of NPHET’s Irish Epidemiological Modeling Advisory Group.

He added that he hoped the current measures would “significantly suppress the transmission of the virus.”

CNN’s Cara Fox, Ivana Kottasov, Nimh Kennedy and Blatnide Haley contributed to this report.