'Many people are shocked to get a contact tracing call'

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"A month ago we had over 7,000 cases in one day, happily we are down to 7,000 cases a week."

Dr Jennifer Martin was instrumental in setting up the information technology for Ireland's contact tracing system, which identifies anyone who has been in contact with someone with Covid-19.

We met in the old eir building near to Dublin’s Heuston Station, which is now empty apart from the two floors occupied by HSE contact tracers.

"It all started down in the basement of Dr Steevens' Hospital, now one year later we have a super professional workforce," said Dr Martin.

There are 800 contact tracers based around the country. This particular centre opened in December just as Ireland was entering the third wave of Covid-19 infections.

Among the contact tracers working here is Maeve Liston, a physiotherapist and rugby player with the Ireland Sevens.

She said a lot of people are "quite shocked and upset" when they get a call from her.

Francis Richardson retired as a midwife 18 months ago but then applied to be a contact tracer out of a sense of duty.

"I felt the need to come back and utilise my skills in this pandemic."

She explained: "Covid is an illness and there is a lot of fear. Sometimes we are the only caller that person may have got that day but we are here to support them."

The surge in coronavirus cases after Christmas overwhelmed the system and contact tracers could no longer call every close contact, so text messages were sent instead.

The system can manage 1,500 cases a day. This equates to around 10,000 calls a day, when close contacts are included.

Видео «'Many people are shocked to get a contact tracing call'» опубликовано в категории «Новости». Продолжительность: 2 мин. 20 сек.