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long way to go NPHET doctor says she is concerned the Covid figures are 'stubbornly stuck'

"At the moment, we're still looking at figures that are four times higher than what they were in early December," Dr Mary Favier said.

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Dr Mary Favier

Dr Mary Favier

Dr Mary Favier

A member of NPHET has said she is concerned about the “stubbornly stuck” COVID-19 figures.

Dr Mary Favier, coronavirus spokesperson for the Irish College of General Practitioners and member of NPHET, has said that, while COVID infection rates are gradually slowing, they are currently 'plateauing.'

The Department of Health confirmed 1,078 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, bringing the total number of cases in the Republic to 208,796.

A total of 66 additional deaths were also reported. The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Ireland now stands at 3,931.

The highest distribution of cases remains in Dublin with 433 reported positive tests.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast with Susan Keogh, Dr Mary Favier noted that figures are slowly reducing.

She said: “I think people should be reassured that it is making a difference and the numbers are coming down, and they will, it's just taking a long time.”

"While we would never comment on just one day, however, there is some concern that they are very much slowing, there is some plateauing, and other things like the positivity rate are stubbornly stuck at just over 5 per cent.”

"There's a number of weeks yet in it, we're looking well into March before we see substantial differences to the figures," she said.

"At the moment, we're still looking at figures that are four times higher than what they were in early December, and a hundred times what they were last July, so there's a way to go."

The Taoiseach has said that the Government are considering the idea of keeping Level 5 restrictions in place until Easter (4th April).

Dr Favier continued that the level of close contacts is "relatively stable" at three per person, but the transmission rate varies from some having zero to others having up to ten, "which is really quite alarming.”

However, she assured Newstalk listeners that there is a "really positive week" coming up in terms of vaccinations.

She explained: "Next week, the large general practices that have large numbers of patients over-85 are going to get the first deliveries of the vaccine, about 80 practices.

"If for any reason somebody doesn't have a GP, which would be very unusual in the over-85s or the over-70s, ring the HSE helpline (1850 241 850) and you'll be facilitated in finding a GP."

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