An Irish variant of COVID-19 could develop if the transmission levels of the virus are not soon halted.
Dr Catherine Motherway, an intensive care consultant, is warning the public to be careful while awaiting a COVID vaccine.
She said that the high rate of viral transmission has increased with the arrival of new variants and that there has been a “significant burden of disease” on the hospital system.
Dr Motherway explained that she understands people’s frustration with the current Level 5 lockdown restrictions.
Although, she says there is “a lot of work” to be done to reduce numbers and “we need to be careful” while awaiting the vaccine.
She told RTE Radio 1’s Today with Claire Byrne: “What we need is a degree of patience.
“It has been a horrendous 12 months, we’re not out of the woods yet, but there is a way out of the woods.”
Many people were waiting for hospital procedures to go ahead, which had been deferred for a long time due to the pandemic.
“They are waiting to get back into hospital,” she added.
The number of patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units (ICU) accounted for half of the country’s ICU capacity, but Dr Motherway has hope.
“This time last year we didn’t know this was coming. We were witnessing the scenes in Italy, which were horrendous.
“Now we know that we have the vaccine. We know that we have better treatments. We know this as a preventable disease.”
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Source: Dublin News