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Tag Archives: National Public Health Emergency Team

Deputy McNamara Calls For More Antigen Testing

` DEPUTY Michael McNamara has called for an increase use of antigen testing in hospitals, schools and homes to facilitate a quicker safe exit from stringent Covid-19 restrictions next month. Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy McNamara recalled the European Commission advocated greater use of antigen testing last November and this is being rolled out right across Europe. The Biden Administration has now introduced far greater use of antigen testing in America, including in homes. He claimed the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has finally moved, reluctantly, to a very “circumscribed” role for antigen testing in the context of outbreaks. “Is there a conflict of interest between being chair of NPHET and being director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, which has very large contracts with the State for PCR testing? “I am not saying there is any subjective bias on the part of that member of NPHET, but there is a clear perception there is objective bias, or a …

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Concern Over Impact Of Lockdown On Mental Health

DEPUTY Michael McNamara has criticised the lack of comprehensive information on self-harm presentations and suicide in Ireland during the current “oppressive” lockdown. The East Clare deputy has described the lack of empirical evidence on the impact of the lockdowns for people with mental health difficulties as an insult to these patients. The Independent deputy has expressed frustration about receiving self-harm information from only 24 out of 36 acute hospitals who are collecting this data. Speaking in the Dáil recently, Deputy McNamara stated nothing visibly has happened since he raised this issue recently. Acknowledging Minister of State, Mary Butler is working hard behind the scenes to advance mental health issues, he stressed everyone is living in an “incredibly oppressive society at present”. “The feeling is entirely oppressive and it is largely driven by elements in the media. I questioned whether there was sufficient coverage of mental health and I was attacked by some public health doctors for doing that and told …

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Deputy McNamara requests Government to consider Covid-19 Antigen tests

AS the 14-day incidence of Covid-19 in Clare slumps to the lowest in the country, a local Dáil deputy has asked the government to consider using antigen testing to help curtail the spread of the virus during Christmas. A few months ago, the 14-day incidence rate of the virus in Clare was the fourth highest in the country. However, now the incidence has dropped from 32 per 100,000 on November 30 to 23.6%, which is the lowest in the country. This is in sharp contrast to Limerick, which now has the sixth highest incidence rate of 128% while the rate in Tipperary is now far greater than Clare at 70%, just below the national average of 84.7%. According to figures produced by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there were 28 new cases of Covid-19 in Clare, 251 in Limerick and 112 in Tipperary from December 1 to December 14. On December 13, Limerick’s total number of cases stood at 3,021 …

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Questions raised over extension of Covid powers for Gardaí

THE Clare-based chairperson of the Dáil committee on Covid-19 has described the prospect of legislating to give Gardaí the power to break up house parties as “tricky”. Deputy Michael McNamara called on government to make clear the rationale for new measures announced this week, which also include a reduction on numbers attending indoor and outdoor gatherings. “What is the basis of the current measures?” he asked, adding that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly must come before the committee to explain the government’s thinking. In relation to the extension of powers for Gardaí, Deputy McNamara said that what was being proposed is still unclear. He also warned that Constitutional issues may arise. “I’m unclear, at this point, as to what exactly the government is proposing,” he said. “In general terms, under the Constitution, the assumption is that a Garda is an invitee at a person’s home. The household or ‘teaglach’ is inviolable. If Gardaí are asked to leave, they must do …

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27 days without positive Covid-19 case in Clare

Clare has gone 27 days without a positive Covid-19 case. The total number of positive cases in the county remains at 368. Nationwide there was no new Covid-19 deaths reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre but the total number of people to have lost their lives from the virus stands at 1,738. As of midnight Tuesday, the HPSC has been notified of 11 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 25,542 confirmed cases in Ireland. Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “A key element of our response to COVID-19 is ensuring that any person experiencing symptoms such ascough, shortness of breath, fever, loss of sense of smell or taste comes forward for testing. Please do not adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ approach, instead isolate yourself and contact your GP without delay.” The National Public Health Emergency Team meets again Thursday to continue its review of Ireland’s response and preparedness to Covidd-19.”

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Zimmer Biomet donate PPE to St Joseph’s Hospital

ZIMMER Biomet Shannon and Galway delivered much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Rehabilitation Unit at St Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis recently. The Rehabilitation Unit in St Joseph’s provides a multi-disciplinary in-patient service to older people who have experienced deterioration in function following recent illness or surgery. PPE is necessary to help protect residents and staff from COVID-19 and Zimmer Biomet are delighted make this donation in light of national PPE shortages. It is understood about 5,000 items of PPE were donated including shoe covers, masks, googles, visors, protective gowns and other equipment. A Mid-West HSE spokesman said the health authority are are delighted to receive donations of PPE, which is used in accordance with Infection Prevention and Control (IP&C) standards, protecting both the residents and the staff. Asked how long this PEE will last for staff and residents in St Joseph’s, the HSE outlined PPE is used according to National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) guidelines, some of …

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Clare Covid-19 cases at 229

Two months after the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed, Clare now has a total of 229 positive cases.. However, despite a rise of 17 cases in the latest figures, Clare still remains one of the counties with the lowest incidences of the virus. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre revealed today that a total of 59 people with Covid-19 have died, of which 45 were laboratory confirmed. There have now been a total of 1,159 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of 11am Tuesday,, the HPSC has been notified of 229 new confirmed cases of the virus bringing to 19,877 the total number of confirmed cases in Ireland. The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread. As of midnight Monday last, 153,054 tests have been carried out. Over the past week, 41,470 tests were carried out and of these 5,335 were positive, giving a …

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Community spirit endures as virus forces changes to funerals

“AS a mainly rural people, we’ve always had a tradition of going to funerals to provide support and show sympathy, Covid-19 has forced us to make massive changes to that custom,” said Ennis-based undertaker, Cyril Cusack, commenting on one of the most challenging aspects of all of the current public health guidelines limiting gatherings and movement in the face of the Coronavirus. Reposals, hand-shakes and books of condolence have all been ruled out for the time being and the traditional funeral drawing huge number of mourners is a sight we are unlikely to see for some time. Detailed guidelines from the Health Service Executive (HSE) to funeral directors outline how social distancing must be implemented, meaning only private ceremonies for immediate family and friends are allowed. Despite the restrictions, Mr Cusack said families are handling the situation with dignity and grace at an extremely challenging time. “First of all, families have to deal with their shock and sometimes anger when …

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