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Deputy Michael McNamara has claimed only nine extra intensive care beds were delivered nationally by the HSE in 2021.

McNamara seeks more transparency on Covid-19 deaths

Deputy Michael McNamara has asked Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to provide a greater level of transparency concerning the number of Irish people who died from and with Covid-19.

His call coincided with the publication of figures on Tuesday of 18 additional deaths related to Covid-19, one death occurred in October, 15 deaths in November and two are under investigation.

Deputy McNamara has asked Minister Donnelly for a breakdown of patients who died primarily from Covid-19, those who died with Covid-19 but primarily from other causes and those who died from the virus, having acquired it in hospital.

The Independent Deputy was told this is a matter for the HSE and was assured he will receive a reply in due course.
He expects to receive a typical vague response from the HSE.

The 14-day incidence rate of the virus continues to fall and remain relatively low in Clare.

This rate, which had rocketed about 70% from September 17 to September 30, was very high and was way above the national average of 279%.

However, the 14-day incidence has now fallen in Clare to 53 per 100,000 on November 30, which is well below the national average of 87%.

This compares to a rate of 132% in Limerick and 80% in Tipperary. According to figures produced by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there were 63 new cases of Covid-19 in Clare, 259 in Limerick and 128 in Tipperary from November 17 to November 30.

On November 29, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Clare totalled 1,502. This compared to 2,786 in Limerick and 1,516 in Tipperary.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), following engagement with key national stakeholders, has prepared revised Covid-19 guidance on visitations to long term residential care facilities.

The new guidelines are with regard to the general well being of those living within such facilities.

From December 7, the revised guidance, which will come into effect, aims to further support long-term residential care services including nursing homes and residents in planning visiting across all levels of the framework for restrictive measures in the Government’s Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021.

Residents can be facilitated, on compassionate grounds, to receive up to one visit per week by one person under Framework Levels Three and Four or per two weeks by one person under Framework Level Five.

The guidance also provides further clarity on visiting in critical and compassionate circumstances. It is recognised that major cultural or religious festivals, such as Christmas, are of significance for residents and this guidance notes that all practical efforts should be made to accommodate an additional visit to residents on compassionate grounds.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Health Mid-West is urging the public to not let down its guard in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, as the countdown to Christmas approaches.

In line with the Government’s announcement, Level Three restrictions, with some variations, have came into effect on Tuesday, and will last until January, with special arrangements for Christmas.

Services that will reopen include shops and retail, personal services such as hairdressers, indoor cultural venues, and places of worship with a maximum capacity of 50 people.

Cafes, restaurants, and pubs operating as restaurants will reopen on Friday, December 4. No visitors outside the social bubble, and no travelling outside a person’s own county.

Special Christmas arrangements will come into effect on December 18.

The Mid-West recently saw one of the lowest daily incidences of Covid-19 since the start of the ‘second wave’, with fewer than 40 cases between Friday and Saturday. This is thanks to the vigilance of the vast majority of the public across Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary since the introduction of Level Five restrictions.

Dr Mai Mannix, Director of the Department of Public Health Mid-West, said that while restrictions have eased, the public can still exercise the same precautionary measures in the coming weeks by following the core public health guidelines; limiting social contacts, keeping a physical distance of two metres, wearing a mask, frequently washing hands, and adhering to proper cough and sneeze etiquette.

“Though we are seeing a reasonably low incidence rate in the Mid-West at present, our team is still in the process of managing and controlling complex outbreaks and clusters in healthcare facilities, long-term residential care settings, extended families, private households, and among the student population.

“We can prevent such outbreaks if we follow public health guidelines. Our priority is to ensure the people of the Mid-West enjoy a safe and healthy Christmas period after what has been an extremely difficult year. By following the guidelines, we can protect our most vulnerable and lessen the burden on our health service,” she said.

Clare Covid-19 Figures November 17 to November 30

Ennis Electoral Area
Confirmed Cases: 29
14-day incidence rate: 93%
Population: 30,910

Kilrush Electoral Area
Confirmed Cases: 6
14-day incidence rate: 95%
Population: 20,994

Ennistymon Electoral Area
Confirmed Cases: 9
14-day incidence rate: 54.9%
Population: 16,408

Killaloe Electoral Area
Confirmed Cases: 15
14-day incidence rate: 74%
Population: 20,108

Shannon Electoral Area
Confirmed Cases: 34
14-day incidence rate: 111.9%
Population: 20,108

National rate 107.8%

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