Up to 150,000 Covid cases may not have been counted over the past month
The high community positivity rate and the use of antigen tests may account for missed cases.
Data shared with the Irish Government has suggested that a huge number of Covid-19 cases may not have been counted over the past few weeks.
According to a report by RTÉ, there may have been up 150,000 cases of the virus that were not recorded. This is due to the high community positivity rate, which is over 50%. Additionally, the fact that some people may have been doing antigen tests rather than PCR tests could account for missed recorded cases.
The new data comes just a few days after the Government updated its advice on the use of antigen tests. Last week, officials said that people between the ages of four and 39 with symptoms should isolate and undergo antigen testing. They should only then book a PCR test if their antigen result is positive.
This is contrary from previous advice which urged anyone with symptoms to take a PCR test rather than relying on an antigen test. These guidelines do not apply to healthcare workers with symptoms. This category must book a PCR test.
Additionally, the Government reduced the self-isolation period for those who are vaccinated and have received the Covid-19 booster at least seven days before infection. These people must isolate for seven days instead of 10, as was previously advised.
NPHET are set to meet later today to discuss any changes to the current level of Covid-19 restrictions. Yesterday, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that he does not anticipate "major changes" to current Covid-19 restrictions.
The Fianna Fáil leader said:"I don't want to pre-empt what NPHET will do in terms of its decision on Thursday, but suffice to say they will take a decision."
He continued: "It seems that the overall picture right now is that the current set of restrictions that had been in place are effective.
"It remains to be seen whether public health wish to advise any further in relation to that, but the indications are it'll be steady as she goes."
Feature image: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie.