Next seven days 'vital' in flattening the curve of Covid-19 4 months ago

Next seven days 'vital' in flattening the curve of Covid-19

You may have heard the phrase 'flattening the curve', but what does it mean?

The speed at which the Covid-19 outbreak plays out is hugely important for health care services. A sudden surge in illnesses has the potential to overwhelm a health system if more people need to be hospitalised than it can safely handle.

Medical professionals and public health experts have been calling on the public to help them stagger the rate of coronavirus cases, so hospitals will be able to treat everyone who gets it or needs to be tested.

It's all part of an effort to do what epidemiologists call "flattening the curve" of the pandemic.

If the disease is allowed to spread uncontrolled, it has the potential to overwhelm the health system and there will not be adequate facilities to provide urgent care to all the people who need it.

By delaying the spread - Ireland is currently in the delay phase of the Covid-19 outbreak - of the outbreak by social distancing, good hand washing, not touching your face and working from home when possible, it gives hospitals a chance to cope with the demand.

Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health Tony Holohan has said the next seven days "are vital" in Ireland's efforts to flatten the curve.

In a series of tweets, Holohan strongly urged social distancing to help curb the spread of the virus.

The death toll for Covid-19 patients in Ireland remains at two.

On Monday, both the HSE and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar appealed to the public to only share information from trusted and reliable sources after a series of fake WhatsApp messages related to coronavirus were circulated over the weekend.