Unknown Knowns

at

Last night.

On RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live.

Ms Byrne put it to Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer at the HSE, that the official figures may not reveal the “whole story” about the prevalence of Covid-19 in Ireland.

Ms  Byrne suggested that because of the delays and changes in testing criteria, and because Ireland isn’t testing people who are asymptomatic, there must be a lot of unknown cases in Ireland.

Dr Henry admitted that Ireland could “never, ever” pick up every single case of Covid-19. He said the purpose of testing is to trigger public health actions which are designed to stem or halt the transmission of the virus.

During their discussion, they had this exchange.

Claire Byrne: “I suppose my question is how do we know we’re bending the curve, when we don’t know how much of this virus there is out there?”

Dr Colm Henry: “Because our modelling takes so much more into account. It takes in, as I said, data coming into acute hospitals. I takes into account trends in intensive care units, we know, looking at the trends in admission to intensive care, it is not as steep as we feared a week or two ago. It is too early to say it Claire, how sustained that will be.

“And again that message is there, that each and every one of us have the power to save lives, to prevent people getting critically ill and to avoid healthcare workers getting sick when we need them.”

Watch back in full here

Meanwhile…

Anyone?

8 thoughts on “Unknown Knowns

  1. Clampers Outside

    Quick top line test data via Statista for Europe (unfortunately no breakdown in test types) show Ireland are behind only Austria (12.6k), Italy (12.2k) Germany (11.1k) and Spain (7.6k) for tests per million pop.

    Ireland having a pop of 4.9m and 30.2k tests giving 6.1k tests per million.

    Source 1: 

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104645/covid19-testing-rate-select-countries-worldwide/

    Source 2 : 

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1109066/coronavirus-testing-in-europe-by-country/

    I can’t find any other sources with decent updated data, anyone? 

  2. A Person

    Mick Caul, Soc Dem, using the virus for political gains. May no insightful contributions, just moan and criticise.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      You’re surely not moaning about and criticizing Mick Caul and not making an insightful contribution yourself by any chance?

  3. Liam

    At the end of the day the numbers getting the virus is less important than the numbers needing hospitalisation/ICU/dying. The numbers there seem cautiously positive – this data was reported in the IT today suggesting we’re at or just past the peak now: https://covid19.healthdata.org/ireland

    The US and UK on the other hand have a difficult couple of weeks ahead.

    (with the proviso that we’ll need better info on general infection rates to know when it’s safe to relax the lockdown measures)

  4. Zaccone

    Trying to measure the number of corona cases in a country just by the number of tests is pretty pointless. 538 did a big article on it: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/coronavirus-case-counts-are-meaningless/

    Essentially: we’re testing in too small a number, and only testing people who self present, and requiring them to have symptoms, so nothing like an accurate picture is emerging. And when testing numbers fluctuate day to day the number of positive results will obviously fluctuate too.

    A better measure is the growth rate in hospitalizations/ICU admissions – it won’t tell the full story of how many cases we have in the country, but it will give a far more accurate estimation of if the infection rate is decreasing or increasing.

  5. fakelikes

    GP’s have alot to answer for in regards testing. When the HSE relaxed the criteria and allowed GP’s to refer people to get swabbed we quickly had 40k people looking for swabs.
    GP’s refereed anyone with a runny nose for a swab. Are testing regime was doing fine up until then. Now its in chaos.

    They also need to answer for the trolley crisis. This pandemic has shown us that we dont have a trolley crisis, we have a primary care crisis. We’ve GP’s referring any ailment to the emergency department.
    THe week before the pubs were closed the HSE issued a warning to not attend the emergency unless absolute necessery. Within days the trolley count reduced by nearly 70%.

    GP’s are not doing their jobs.

  6. rolo

    For gods sake
    Thanks to the crash and the children hospital our health was in a mess

    Before this virus our whole country was one crises after another

    We have a very short memory

    But that was then

    The whole world is facing exactly the same
    To be honest with what we had left we are coping as well as with those who were not stripped to the bone

    There are people putting their lives on the line and lets just get on and work with our government and those brave people of our country
    This is the moment all of us will be tested and we will be judged for how we weather this

    This is not the time to start quibbling

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