Prof Staines: huge rise in case numbers is due to us and not UK variant

DCU's Prof Antony Staines says the new variant isn't here in high enough levels yet to influence the stats

An infectious diseases expert says it’s our behavior and not the new UK strain of the coronavirus that’s causing the dramatic rises in case numbers.

DCU’s Prof Antony Staines says the new variant isn’t here in high enough levels yet to influence the stats.

Professor Staines has been telling KCLR we could be facing into two or three more lockdowns before the end of the pandemic if we don’t invest more in public health and contact tracing in the community.

He’s told KCLR LIVE it’s traditional public health measures and not public behaviour that will ultimately control or eliminate the virus and stop our health system being overrun.

744 people with Covid-19 are being treated in Irish hospitals this morning.

It’s the highest number of patients on wards with the disease since the end of April.

22 of those are in Kilkenny’s St Luke’s Hospital, where 5 patients with the virus are in critical care units.

There’s also 18 patients on trolleys waiting for a bed at the local hospital on Monday morning.

The CEO of the HSE says non urgent health care will be scaled back in hospitals this week.

Paul Reid is warning Covid-19 cases are likely to hit 7 thousand in the coming days so hospitals have to prioritise the virus.