The healthcare executive’s online portal for the public to upload their positive antigen tests will go live on Friday but may fall victim to “play-acting”, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said.
Speaking outside the RDS vaccination center on Thursday morning, Mr Donnelly said he was told by HSE that he expects the portal to be used responsibly, when asked questions about possible false positives that were being uploaded for recovery certificates or work reasons.
“I think like most things in this pandemic, we are relying on people doing the right thing. I think from what we’ve seen over and over again over the past two years, people have consistently done the right thing. Is it open to acting a little bit? this is. ,
The HSE on Thursday said that anyone who wants to obtain a digital recovery certificate will have to obtain a PCR test or a professionally administered antigen test.
Damian McCallion, HSE’s lead on the vaccine program, said there are “very limited measures or safeguards that you can put in place in any case in a self-testing scenario like that.”
However, he said the rules were clear that a recovery certificate would require PCR or a professionally administered antigen test.
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Mr Donnelly said he spoke with intensive care specialists on Thursday and is encouraged about stability in hospitals despite the very high Omicron case numbers.
“The hospital figures, certainly the critical care figures, are very stable. Of course, we have to be mindful of the additional workload on the nurses, on the doctors and on the entire hospital system with these extra thousand patients.
“I was talking to some of our intensive care people this morning and they were reporting that the numbers are still stable and they are not seeing anything in pre-intensive care hospital patients or non-intensive care patients who Would suggest that those numbers are going to start rising exponentially in the coming days. So again, very positive things.”
Asked when Ireland could reach herd immunity, Mr Donnelly said this figure or limit is constantly changing. “The more infectious these things are, the higher the number of people you need to have either vaccine immunity or natural immunity. I can imagine that number would be much higher, given the extraordinarily infectious nature of Omicron. “
Despite this, he said that it may happen that Ireland may cross the Omicron summit for some time without knowing it.
“I think what’s interesting is the modeling that Philip Nolan and team are doing. We’re all asking the same question, when is the peak? And I think Prof. Nolan was pointing out last night that based on But that’s a lot more cases than we’re recording… we could have actually passed the peak before it was raised.
He said that the government will soon start modeling afresh.
Asked about confusion about HSE saying it would not provide such masks to the public despite Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan’s comments, Mr Donnelly said: “In fairness to HSE, the issue is around-the-clock. The masks nearby aren’t what they’ve been asked to do. It’s not something they knew about, as I think they confirmed last night, but look, we’re always going to keep reviewing these things. can.
“I would have my own view, whether for testing or for masks, this is something that I think a lot of employers can and should look at. I will also include public sector bodies in that.”
Meanwhile, it has emerged that additional immunizers are likely to be deployed back to their original positions in pharmacies, GP clinics in centers across the country and in general hospital roles and in the community now that antigen tests are a primary source or a Confirm covid. .-19 infection.