A senior doctor at the Irish Medical Organization (IMO) has endorsed comments by chief medical officer Tony Holohan that the public should get out of bars or restaurants that do not require Covid-19 digital certificates.
Ina Kelly, chair of IMO’s public health committee, told RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland that hospitality companies need to follow protocols that insist that only those who have been fully vaccinated can be served indoors.
« If we see unsafe places, it’s best not to go to them and we need to encourage businesses to follow protocols as much as possible, » she said.
« All of this helps us keep places open while we have the risk of Covid in our communities. »
Her comments come ahead of Tuesday’s meeting between hospitality industry representatives and Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
Officials in the management of Taoiseach will brief the hospitality sector on the risks of transmission of Covid-19. Ahead of the meeting, they warned the sector that non-compliance could have consequences for constantly reopening society.
Dennis McCauley, chair of the IMO’s GP committee, said levels of non-compliance with Covid certifications in bars and restaurants are in the range of one in three to one of two establishments.
He said Northern Ireland had much higher rates of Covid-19 because it allowed unvaccinated people into bars and restaurants.
If you have not yet had a vaccination, or if it is time for a booster vaccine, please be sure to apply for this one.
– Dr. Tony Holohan (@CMOIreland) November 8, 2021
« I’d hate to think we could get to the same levels in Northern Ireland, » he said.
Dr McCauley said non-compliance in the hospitality sector was « totally unacceptable » given how difficult it is to pressure the sector to open up.
“If you walk into a place and they don’t ask for your digital certificate, leave. If you apply these simple rules when you do something, it will be much easier,” he told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show.
Dr McCauley also called on anyone planning a Christmas party in the office or workplace to make sure it’s an « formal » party in a place that would check their Covid certificates.
“If you are going to have a casual birthday party, don’t do it. If you are intent on having a party of some kind, have it in a controlled environment where there is all the covid action.
Infectious disease expert Sam McConkey has warned that antigen testing for children can give false reassurances.
He told Newstalk Breakfast that regular routine exams have a role to play.
He said that antigen testing in schools can be useful if used correctly, but that the test should be done on the fifth and tenth day after a possible infection. Testing on other dates can produce negative results that would provide false reassurance.
He urged a return to non-pharmacological methods to avoid the spread of the virus, such as wearing masks, sterilization, and social distancing.
He said that a vaccine alone is not enough to control the spread of the disease.
When asked about booster vaccines, Professor McConkey said they are necessary as immunity wanes, but the question was when is the optimal time for a boost.
It may be best to wait until new vaccines are developed, just as new flu vaccines are developed every year. Not all of the population could have been vaccinated every three to six months when their vaccine waned.
Prof McConkey said Nyack was right to devote his time to the issue of extending the campaign trail. There was a clear advantage in giving it to the over-60s and the frail, but he didn’t think giving it to the over-12s at this point would make things better.
« Spécialiste de la télévision sans vergogne. Pionnier des zombies inconditionnels. Résolveur de problèmes d’une humilité exaspérante. »