Phone A Friend


From top: People with Covid positive tests will be notified by text today and asked to trace recent contacts; At the launch of the Department of Health and HSE COVID Tracker App is Stephen Donnelly Minister for Health (right), and Paul Reid, Chief Executive Officer, HSE, outside the Department of Health, Dublin last July

Ask them to sit down first.

Via Irish Times and RTÉ:

Between last Friday and Sunday, more than 3,000 Covid-19 cases were confirmed and people with a positive test result over the three days were notified by text.

Instead of the usual contact tracing involving phone calls, they will today receive a second text.

It will ask them to send on a message to their own close contacts – people they have spent more than 15 minutes with – alerting them to restrict their movements and to immediately contact their GP to arrange a test.


Via The Irish Examiner:

The Government have been accused of “dropping the ball” in not employing enough staff which has led to a “collapse” in the contact tracing system.

Serious delays in employing up to 1,500 qualified people who signed up to the ‘Be on Call for Ireland initiative’ have been blamed, with both GPs and opposition members hitting out at the breakdown in contact tracing in recent days.

Covid-19: Backlog forces HSE to skip calls to thousands of close contacts (Irish Times)

HSE asks people who tested positive at weekend to alert close contacts (RTÉ)

Government under fire over contact tracing ‘collapse’ (irish Examiner)


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21 thoughts on “Phone A Friend

  1. Andrew

    Will Paul Reid be asked to take responsibility for this? Will he even be asked about this or will his inane, pop business psychology tweets be sufficient?

    1. Johnnythree

      No you have to remember each and every one of them plus the timings you spent, the weather, temperature, mask status and their number etc. Then you do Paul Reids job and call them all, they will then all panic and do the same with their friends and then we will wonder why we have so many more tests. Good thing is though it will bring down the positivity rate which will help Paul & his friends ‘win’ the battle. Optics. Get to it.

      On another note I do hope you are all ready for the PCR test CT ceiling to be adjusted with the three testing companies in three weeks time. Lower the ceiling and miss lots of mild cases – hola – Level 5 is working! Hurrah for Christmas.

    2. TrackNTrace

      According to the app, only 3,612 app users have tested positive since its launch. There have been over 13,000 cases in the past 14 days. Either the app isn’t working or the vast majority of people testing positive are the same cohort who won’t download the app. Can the HSE address this or just admit that the app has fallen well short of its intended utility despite 1.3 million of us downloading it to date?

      1. Johnnythree

        It is a waste of time.
        1. It does not do what it is supposed to do
        2. It has privacy concerns
        3. It does not get updated in real time
        4. What is the point when the track & trace is not working and you have to do it yourself anyway.
        The govt say they don’t want herd immunity but it looks like we are gonna get it via systems failure anyway.

  2. Joe

    To make further savings ordinary decent tax payers will be provided with pliers to pull their own teeth as dentists are a bit busy at the moment, further more each household will be provided with scalpels for minor surgery, etc. All in the FFFGGP plans for the health service.

    Time to chuck these wasters out of

  3. Micko

    Ha! I just heard Phillip Nolan from NPHET on Newstalk news making excuses for the tracing system

    “Ummm the track and trace system has had issues, as no one could have predicted the rise in figures we’re seeing now”.

    You predicted it ya numpty

    You literally did Phillip. 1300 cases a day by mid-October you said. So what’s the problem?

    Unless you were just hyping it up like the rest of the ‘medi-celebs’ and now you’ve all been caught with your pants down?

  4. GiggidyGoo

    And that’s not all. I just heard on local radio that Gardai won’t be able to issue any fines or whatever if they knock on a door, and it’s not answered.

    Welcome to Keystone Cops country.

    1. Micko

      Yeah I heard that

      I literally ‘LOL’d at that

      I really love this backwards kip of a country sometimes ;-)

  5. NotHysterical

    Public opinion and perception will change rapidly in relation to the roles and responsibilites in dealing with covid. It could prove to be very devisive.

    The current message is depending on our behaviour, we may or may not have a Christmas. Like Santa Clause, NPHET knows if you’ve been naughty or nice

    But over the next few weeks we will see the systems and structures we’ve been expecting to have been developed over the last seven months to be grossly insufficient. The blame will land squarely with the public. NPHET and their elves will say ‘we told you so, and you FAILED to follow the advice’.

    Meanwhile we have 100s of 1000s newly unemployed who are feeling worthless, depressed and dejected. That feeling could turn to anger when we realise, that the public by-and-large made a great effort. The private sector made a punishing sacrafice, and the young lost many opportunities.

    All for tolerating a dysfunctional heath system for too long.

    1. Micko

      Dead right. Sure you can see it on social media already.

      Comments on the main media pages blaming people for not following the regulations properly. Which no one is of course – not really.

      8 months to increase ICU capacity

      8 months to put in a tracing system that works

      8 months to sort out the testing.

      But yeah it’s our fault.

      We’re so easily divided it’s criminal.

  6. Janet, dreams of warm feet

    Has anyone seen RTE’s new add/ slogan/ campaign declaring it’s integrity, excellent journalism and your ability to trust it, how OTHER sources are scare mongering ? Methinks the lady doth protest too much…it’s integrity if it had any would speak for itself it they wouldn’t have to try and convince you….They must be worried that people don’t believe their fear mongering ?

    1. Micko

      Ah yeah. It’s so on the nose. It’s hilarious.

      “Yeah, so you can trust us. Don’t trust anyone else.

      We know what’s good for ya. Sorry… I mean we know the truth. Yeah that’s it – the truth”

      It’s up their with Chinese levels of propaganda- and that’s saying something!

      1. Janet, dreams of warm feet

        it made me spit out my coffee laughing, the brass neck of it, if you have to say you ain’t a lying cheating boll*x then you definitely are

  7. f_lawless

    Jay Bhattacharya, co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration:

    “Our purpose in this essay is to make the case that, contrary to conventional public health wisdom, most of the hope placed on contact tracing efforts to control the epidemic is ultimately futile. It may be useful when the number of cases in an epidemic is very small and only if it is applied aggressively without regard to privacy rights. In cases that do not fit that description, contact tracing may make an outbreak worse.”

  8. V AKA Frilly Keane

    I got one of those calls
    The poor divil, a known Broadsheeter, was in flitters

    In fairness I wasn’t worried
    I tend to wait until there is something confirmed before bothering meself with worry or hassle

    What annoyed me most is that he had to get a taxi out to the testing center (and back)
    City West btw so easily 50 yo-yos
    Plus the risk of spread

    If they’re all that about containing the virus
    And it’s not like they haven’t been given billions in additional resources
    Why haven’t they got a fleet of mobile testing units/ teams doing the rounds
    Particularly in Dublin City where Community spread is more likely

    Anyway tis all grand, for now
    Screenshot of the text confirmed negative for c19

    1. Yarfakdu

      In Stockholm they’ve employed the taxi company’s to drop the test at the door, an hour later they come back to collect the sealed sample and drop it off to be examined

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