Normal services will be resumed as soon as possible…

After posting updates about Ireland’s Covid-19 situation every single day since the end of March 2020 – a total of 441 entries so far – I’ve been forced to pause. The reason is that a “significant ransomware attack” has crippled many of the computer systems of the Health Service Executive and while it is being dealt with, no data on Covid-19 (including vaccinations) are being published. As far as I understand it, testing and vaccination are going on as before, but we will have to wait until systems are restored before announcements will resume and backdated data is published.

When the dust settles on this I’m pretty sure the inevitable investigation will reveal that the HSE has been using outdated IT hardware and software that made it much easier for the cybercriminals than it should have been.  The disruption is of course extremely annoying but there is a real possibility that the cancellation of urgent medical procedures may lead to loss of life. I sincerely hope the perpetrators are caught and subjected to the full force of the law.

Meanwhile, out of interest, here is my latest summary plot (dated 14th May) which shows new cases steady at the (uncomfortably) high level of around 430 per day (7-day average) but deaths falling:

It is reasonable to infer that the combination of falling mortality figures and constant infection rates is attributable to the vaccination most people in the groups most at risk.

Last Monday (10th May) saw various relaxations of the current restrictions around Covid-19 and tomorrow there will be further loosening. In particular all remaining “non-essential” shops will open. This won’t make much difference to me personally as I shall be locked down marking examinations for at least the next fortnight.

I don’t think the cyber attack will affect the timing of my second vaccine dose, which is due in early June, but that remains to be seen.

2 Responses to “Normal services will be resumed as soon as possible…”

  1. Jonivar Skullerud Says:

    Interestingly, the Minister for cybersecurity previously worked in the IT department of one of the major hospitals.

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