No surge in cases after summer street parties – Anthony Staines

ISAG’s Professor Anthony Staines has said that the “open-air party” scenes in Dublin city centre in recent weeks have not resulted in a spike in covid-19 cases, despite the CMO’s concern.

Health officials reported 271 new covid-19 cases on Tuesday – the second lowest figure this year, even after large crowds were seen celebrating in Dublin city centre.

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan expressed his serious concern over these demonstrations, saying that he was “absolutely shocked” at the scenes, and that this was an example of “what we do not need when we have made so much progress.”

However, Professor Anthony Staines of the Independent Scientific Advisory Group (ISAG) said that if an uptick in cases was going to happen we would expect to see it by now.

“For most people, the time from getting infected to the case turning up in the system is something like five or six days, so yes you would expect to see it by now,” he said, as reported by the Telegraph.

“We know from studies all over the world that outdoor gatherings are a lot safer than indoor gatherings. You have to be somewhat unlucky to get infected outdoors.”

It was recently revealed that 99.9% of covid-19 infections occurred indoors as opposed to outdoors, and then outdoor activity is incredibly safe comparatively as regards the virus.

“Tony should not have attacked [the outdoor gatherings] with the strength that he did,” said Staines.

“Is it ideal that you have a very large number of people close together in a street in a pandemic? It is not ideal, but it is not a very high-risk situation either.”

According to the latest figures, the number of patients in Irish hospitals with covid-19 has dropped to 59 – the lowest number since September. Only 23 individuals are in ICU with covid-19.

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