By Democrat reporter
A number of doctors have called for an end to the daily Covid-19 figures, describing them as a “self-perpetuating cycle of misery”.
Dr Maitiu O Tuathail, former president of the National Association of General Practitioners in Ireland, said the daily announcement is “causing huge anxiety” and is “utterly meaningless”.
Dr O Tuathail added no (mainland) European country makes daily announcements anymore about Covid-19 numbers.
He recommended the daily briefing be changed to a comprehensive weekly briefing.
Daily figures, such as those issued by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland (pictured), are unnecessary because they oscillate up and down, he said, adding the weekly trend is what is important.
Reported cases of Covid-19 (in Ireland) have been swinging in recent days with 51 on Sunday followed by 214 cases on Monday and 89 on Tuesday.
Dr O Tuathail said Covid-19 is likely to be around for two to four years and that releasing daily figures is leading to people becoming “obsessed” with the figures to the detriment of the rest of their lives.
“I have seen as a GP that there is so much information being thrown at people that they don’t know where to go,” he said.
“We are running the risk that we will overwhelm people so much that they just don’t care anymore. We are going to have to live with this so we have to stop letting it take over our lives in its entirety,” he said.
“Moving from a daily to a weekly announcement would help with people’s anxiety. People know that Covid is around. They know that cases are climbing. My phone lights up every single day at 6pm. That causes anxiety.”