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Pandemic handling review team to include Swedish critic of lockdowns

Dr Johan Giesecke, who testified before the Oireachtas Covid committee in 2020, was selected on Tuesday by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to the Public Health Reform Expert Advisory Group.

The group will be chaired by former UCD president and current Imperial College president-designate Prof Hugh Brady. He claimed that the Irish strategy of clamping down was “destroying the fabric” of society and economy.

In his initial statements before the Oireachtas committee in 2020, Dr. Giesecke suggested the State should allow a “tolerable spread” of Covid among the over-60s.

He stated schools must remain open, and that there was no difference between infections among pupils in Sweden, which kept schools open, and Finland, which closed them.
Pandemic control
Later, he clarified that he was not recommending the Swedish pandemic management paradigm, which disavowed lockdowns early on. He claimed then that zero Covid rules were not practical since they would have to apply globally.

The panel also includes Dutch and British professionals, as well as domestic medics and researchers in various academic and hospital roles. Aiming to increase health protection generally and future public health pandemic preparedness specifically, the committee will be challenged to “identify learnings” from

the reaction to Covid-19 in Ireland.
Also, it will look at the components of the Irish public health model and offer a suitable operating model for developing and delivering public health in Ireland.

targeted process
It is unclear how the Government will conduct a Covid probe, but the Department of Health is moving ahead with this more focused approach. A rapid, dynamic, agile, integrated and intelligence-led public health response to future health hazards is what Mr. Donnelly wants.

On Tuesday, 4,006 new PCR-confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported in the State, while 5,212 more patients tested positive via the Health Service Executive portal.

824 Covid-19 individuals were hospitalised as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, 79 in ICU.

Doctors told the National Public Health Emergency Team earlier this month that almost half of the Covid-19 patients in hospitals were unintentional. Officials were told that Covid-19 was not the primary reason for admission in these situations.

Vaccined patients had fewer severe Covid-19 symptoms, quicker turnaround times, and needed less oxygen support.

Five more Covid-19-positive patients have died in Northern Ireland, and 5,023 new cases have been reported, the health authorities said Tuesday.