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Lessons learnt about probable Covid-19 cases and deaths in Ireland

It seems probable that applying the necessary measures, currently mandated, deaths will be contained to 500-1000 with a return to normal beginning in the middle of May.

By Michael Smith.

It is important to follow Government recommendations and edicts.

This need not stop us trying to work out what the future probably holds if we observe those strictures and continue with the infection patterns of the last ten days and the Chinese experience.

There is a pattern to cases in Ireland.

The Business Post of 15 March stated the health authorities predicted increases of 30% daily leading to 1.9m infections eventually.  

If that rate was prevailing we would have had 4029 cases as of 27 March. In fact we have 2121.

The Taoiseach had predicted 15,000 cases by the end of March, though he has now stated that no longer pertains.  

In fact now assuming continuing substantially-sub-20% increases the figure is more likely to be around 6000 at the end of March.

The former HSE head, Tony O’Brien, writing in the Business Post on 22 March, stated that reducing increases to 20% daily from then would reduce the figure to 60,000 https://www.businesspost.ie/coronavirus/half-a-million-infected-people-is-the-difference-that-is-in-all-our-hands-92694699. 

 Since we are now averaging closer to 15% this suggests a peak at around 35,000 (not 1.9m) cases with deaths of perhaps 500-1000 (1.5%-3%), compared with annual flu deaths of 200-500 according to the HSE in Ireland.

If we follow the experience in China we will probably be relaxing social restrictions from the middle of May https://villagemagazine.ie/woo-hoo-wuhan-is-it-possible-ireland-will-be-in-the-position-china-finds-itself-in-now-in-the-first-half-of-may/.

This all assumes testing in Ireland is giving a fairly accurate picture and that there is no resurgence.

Ed’s note: The piece was updated on 9 April just to reflect recorded cases for the period since the article was published on 28 March