Covid evidence in the clouds, as Government consider Level 3.51 for December – Naughten

In Families, Health, Jobs, Local Issues, News, Tourism by Denis Naughten

Current 5 level lockdown model must be replaced

 

Denis Naughten TD has called on the Taoiseach to access the large amounts of data on Covid-19 infections that the HSE is storing in the cloud in advance of making decisions on how the lockdown is to be lifted.

“Government is looking at some type of easing of restrictions that would bring us somewhere between level 3 and level 4, maybe to a new level 3.51, so clearly the levels announced last September are not fit for purpose and need to be revised,” stated Denis Naughten.

Speaking in Dáil Éireann today Denis Naughten highlighted that Government will make this call not based on all of the available information because the bulk of the information collected on contact tracing is still locked in the cloud.

“We have over 500 people working in 11 contact tracing centres inputting large volumes of data every minute onto a software system that has  the capacity to generate reports on who, where and how people are getting infected with Covid-19, but this is not happening,” said Denis Naughten.

“It is akin to making up a flat pack kitchen and refusing to look at the instructions. But while a bit of putty will cover over any mistakes, making up that kitchen; if Government gets this wrong, we will be facing into another lockdown for Valentine’s,” concluded Denis Naughten.

 

ENDS.

 

Editor’s Note:

 

 

Denis Naughten’s contributions to Leaders questions today in Dáil Éireann:

First intervention:

Ceann Comhairle,

 

On 3rd November I pointed out to An Taoiseach that “We need to use Irish data to inform Irish decisions and not continue to rely on NPHET advice, which is based on what the EU health authorities are saying”.

 

On 6th November at a meeting with you, Taoiseach, you will recall, I questioned Dr Holohan, the chief Medical Officer, on his presentation as to why the rate of decline of Covid-19 infection in Dublin had stalled?

 

While I did not get an answer, I did specifically state that we needed a further meeting to go into these figures.

It didn’t happen.

 

However, the rate of infection in Dublin continued to stagnate and now we see the same situation being replicated across our country.

 

Taoiseach, yesterday morning Microsoft announced that it is to create 200 software engineering jobs at its new €27 million hub here in Dublin to support, among other things, cloud services for its global customers.

 

The HSE is one of those customers, using its Microsoft Dynamics CRM, customer relationship management, package.

 

A system designed to help companies manage and maintain customer relationships, and deliver actionable data.

 

As we speak, we have over 500 people working in 11 contact tracing centres inputting large volumes of data every minute onto this system.

This data has the capacity to generate reports on who, where and how people are getting infected with Covid-19.

 

Taoiseach, this is information that your Government urgently needs to make the right decisions on how we exit from the current lockdown, how we allow people to live again, allow businesses to open up and – more importantly – ensure that we don’t face further lockdowns.

 

But to do that, we need to know what this virus is doing in Ireland’s population, which is both geographically and culturally very different to other countries.

 

This week your Government will make decisions on a guess; an educated guess; anecdotal evidence; partial data; but sadly, not with all of the cold hard facts.

 

It is akin to making up a flat pack kitchen and refusing to look at the instructions.

 

But while a bit of putty will cover over any mistakes, making up that kitchen; if Government and its unaccountable advisors get this wrong, our children and their children will be paying for it.

 

So, my question to you Taoiseach is, who is actually interrogating this Microsoft Dynamics CRM to generate data on what is actually happening with Covid-19 in Ireland, to provide the evidence for your policy decisions?

 

 

Second  intervention:

 

Taoiseach don’t let them fob you off and tell you they are using output from the CRM, because they are not.

 

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre is using data from a laboratory reporting system which was never designed for this pandemic.

 

Hospital based occupational health doctors, and some public health doctors investigating outbreaks, don’t use the CRM so many of the health care related outbreaks are not entered onto it.

 

Yet at this moment we are still seeing a huge number of cases associated with hospitals and care homes, both patients and staff.

 

From my own investigations it is spreading in these settings and spilling over from staff into the community.

 

I also understand that there are 12 hospitals currently with restrictions on elective procedures because of Covid outbreaks.

 

If we were to actually use the data we have, it would allow you, as Taoiseach, to tell the Irish People with authority what they need to do to actually control this virus.