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Tag Archives: Covid-19

100,000 face visors for HSE frontline staff

A collaboration between University of Limerick and UL Hospitals Group has seen the design and capacity created to manufacture 100,000 face visors for HSE front-line staff. The Rapid Innovation Unit at UL, an SFI Confirm Centre funded 3D printing activity that works in collaboration with University Hospital Limerick, mobilised a team to innovate immediate solutions in response to the COVID 19 crisis. The unit has previous experience in rapid design and 3D printing of medical devices in response to clinical requests. Following a request from Professor Paul Burke, Chief Academic Officer at UL Hospitals Group and Vice Dean of Health Sciences at UL, academics and clinicians at the Rapid Innovation Unit at UL worked to design and manufacture novel solutions where doctors had identified potential shortages of equipment should COVID-19 cases surge. In less than two weeks, the team designed solutions to three critical clinical challenges facing clinicians due to the pandemic. These include capacity to manufacture 100,000 face visors …

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A lifetime of cocooning for Poor Clares

COCOONING and leaving home only in limited circumstances is a new phenomenon in Ireland due to the Covid 19 pandemic, but it is a way of life for members of the Poor Clares’ community in Ennis. The nine sisters are engaged in daily prayer and contemplation and go outside of the walls of their Francis Street convent only for medical appointment or attend courses relating to their vocation or social issue. In earlier times, once a young woman joined the Poor Clares she remained in cloister for her entire life. “We have a constant quite atmosphere here in the convent but do not have a vow of silence,” said Abbess Bernardine Meskell. After five years as boarder at St Joseph’s Convent in Spanish Point, the Castleconnell, County Limerick woman joined the order in Ennis in 1963. “Our day is full, broken into seven different ceremonies, such as mass celebrated by one of the friars, morning and evening Divine Office and …

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Scientists at UL prepare essential COVID-19 testing solution

Scientists at University of Limerick have created a testing solution for COVID-19 amid worldwide shortages of the crucial materials. In response to the global shortage of reagents and extraction kits for COVID-19 testing, scientists at UL’s Bernal Institute, plus the departments of chemical and biological sciences at UL, joined forces with other research centres and institutes to source materials and prepare a testing solution, which has fallen short of supply. The Lysis Buffer solution, which is critical for DNA extraction, was validated at University Hospital Limerick, where it is now being used. Dr Edel Durack, Instrument Scientist at Bernal Bio Laboratories and a team of technicians from the School of Natural Sciences at UL, prepared the solution, which is required to generate results from patient swabs. The solution can now be used for COVID-19 testing across Ireland. Pharmaceutical companies can now also rapidly produce batches of this solution to help meet the demand for testing patients. Dr Durack explained: “This …

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Garda crackdown on weekend holiday travel

Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has urged the thousands of people with holiday homes in coastal parts of the county not to travel to Clare over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Deputy Carey spoke out as extra powers were given to gardai to enforce the restrictions on anyone who is found to be in breach of the Covid-19 public health regulations. It follows reports locally that extra visitors were observed at popular holiday spots in the west and north of the county in recent days. Deputy Carey said: “We love having visitors to Clare, you won’t receive a better welcome anywhere else and the tourism industry is an economic lifeline for many parts of the county. “However, we are living in extraordinary times, and we must do absolutely everything within our power to stop the spread of Covid-19 and to ease the huge pressure on our hospitals and frontline workers. “Gardai will be out in force between now and the …

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Six new Covid-19 cases in Clare

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that the total number of Covid-19 cases in Clare is now 60, which is an increase of six. Nationally 16 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland have died. A total of 370 new cases have been confirmed across the country. ·        11 deaths located in the east, four in the north west and one in the west of the country ·        The patients included six females and 10 males ·        Four patients were reported as having underlying health conditions ·        Median age of today’s reported deaths is 78 There have now been 174 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland. The median age of deaths in Ireland is 81. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed of 370 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, as at 1pm today, Monday. There are now 5,364 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. Research conducted …

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Crowe asks broadband providers to show leniency

CLARE Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe has called on satellite broadband providers not to penalise families who exceed their data package, during the COVID19 pandemic. Deputy Crowe said, “The majority of families and households across Clare are abiding by the HSE guidelines and are staying at home during this pandemic.  They are playing their part by not going out, with people working from home and kids undertaking their schoolwork in their kitchens. “This put a greater demand on the broadband infrastructure, and for some households they may be using more data than is in their current package. “Many broadband providers have a policy of adding a penalty for people exceeding the terms of their bundle.  However, these are unprecedented times.  It’s not business as usual and I am urging providers to take the current circumstances into account. “I am calling on the Communications Minister to engage with satellite broadband providers who are still imposing a cap on customers to see what can be …

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Tulla Comhaltas Members Stay In Tune Despite Crisis

TULLA Comhaltas are making sure younger members stay in tune, while their regular music lessons and band practice sessions remain suspended as the Covid-19 crisis continues. The organisation, which has up to 100 members in the under-18 age category, has been inviting its junior musicians to record performances in their homes and share them on the Tulla Comhaltas Facebook page. The activity has proven hugely popular with audiences worldwide and has been instrumental in keeping young musicians busy and learning while the lock-down continues. The initiative is the brain-child of Youth Officer Aisling Hunt, who, up to the advent of the crisis, had been busy training junior members for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the All-Ireland Fleadh. “At the moment, there are no individual lessons going on, no group practices and no sessions,” she explained. “We don’t know if or when the Fleadh will take place. That was scheduled for August in Mullingar, but it’s now postponed. Our young members had …

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21 more deaths from Covid-19

Twenty one more patients who tested positive for Covid-19 have died bringing the total deaths in the country from the virus to 158, the National Public Health Emergency Team has confirmed. Of the latest deaths, 17 were in the east, two in the south and two in the west. The patients included nine females and 12 males and 12 patients were reported as having underlying health conditions. The median age of today’s reported deaths is 81. There were 390 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland as at 1pm this Sunday bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 4,994. The HSE is now working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread. Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said this past week has proven that the nation is working hard, together, by staying at home to flatten the curve. Today’s data also reveals that …

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