Irish deputy PM: Those not admitted with COVID to be excluded from data

Patients with appendicitis, for example, but who happen to test positive for the virus, should be excluded from hospitalisation data, according to a government letter sent to the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet). [Shutterstock/Dirk Hudson]

Health experts have been told to exclude patients with COVID-19 from daily case figures if they are not admitted to hospital because of the virus, the Irish Independent has reported.

Patients with appendicitis, for example, but who happen to test positive for the virus, should be excluded from hospitalisation data, according to a government letter sent to the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the minister in charge of enterprise, trade and employment, wants more accurate figures from Nphet on COVID-19 hospitalisations as the highly-infectious Delta variant is monitored.

“There are essentially three categories and we should be able to quantify them,” he said.

“The first are those admitted with COVID-19 and being treated for it; the second category are those admitted with something else but who got COVID in hospital and are now being treated for it, and the third are those admitted for something else, who were swabbed and found positive, but who are not being treated for it,” said Varadkar.

According to the former PM, some people were in hospital “because their appendix burst or they broke a leg, or they’re in for a knee op. It’s not that they’re being treated for the virus.”

“So it is essential that we need to find out better data in terms of hospitalisations as to who is actually in hospital because they’re being treated for COVID, as opposed to who is in hospital and COVID positive, which of course is not quite the same thing,” he added.

(Paula Kenny | EURACTIV.com)

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